FLOWERS - RobinRobinsonMaine

Polygala paucifolia, known as Gaywings or Fringed polygala is also called Milkwort, Snakeroot. My mother always called it Birdy On the Wing. I think that might have been her own name for it or a very local nickname. This Maine wildflower is a spring ephemeral, dissappearing by the time the trees leaf out. It growns in dappled shade in lean soil. It has been used medicinally and was thought to improve the milk production of cows that at it. There are over 60 different species of Polygala in the United States. Most of the occur in the southeast. This is the one we see in Maine. Photographed in May, Phippsburg, Maine. It's tiny: only three inches tall and the flower is about 1 1/2 inch across. I had to lie on the ground for these photos taken with a macro lens. For a distribution map and more info on this wildflower, visit

2013GreyledgeMaineMaine nature photogaphyMaine wildlfowerMayMay wildflower in MaineMilkwortPhippsburgPolygala paucifoliaSagadahoc CountySnakeroot.Totman CoveWest Pointblossombotanicaldelicatediminutiveflowerforestknown as Gaywings or Fringed polygalamagenta wildflowermedicinalmilk prodcution improvenaturepink wildflowerpurple wildflowershadeshortsmalltinywildflowerwingswoodland201305275385