Milkwort (Common) Polygala vulgaris

A plant of many colours, although most commonly dark-blue (it can also be purple, pink and white).

You can tell it apart from its close relative the heath milkwort by its leaves: common milkwort leaves alternate up the stem while heath milkwort's are opposite each other.

Distribution

Throughout the UK.

Habitat

Grassland.

Best time to see

Flowers from May to September

Did you know...

The name 'milkwort' comes from the ancient Greek botanist Dioscorides.

He called it polugalon or 'much milk' believing it to 'make milk more abundant'. Exactly who's milk he sadly doesn't say, but herbalists used to prescribe it to nursing mothers (as opposed to grazing cows!)

Milkwort also used to be gathered to be used in Christian processions known as 'Rogations' up until reformers decided to do away with them.