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A picture of a Milkwort


Polygala spp.

Also known as

Snakeroot, Polygala, Snakewort, Seneca

Polygala myrtifolia (flowers) - Botanischer Garten Bonn by Raimond Spekking (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size





  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Milkwort

A close up of a blue Polygala flower
A close up of some blue Polygala flowers and green leaves
Some white and yellow Polygala flowers growing along a wall
A close up of some white Polygala flowers growing in some grass
Some white Polygala flowers

Milkwort Overview

Polygala is a large genus with approximately 659 annuals, evergreen perennials, shrubs and tree species that produce showy, colourful, pea-shaped flowers. Typical flower colours are blue, purple and pink and these appear during spring and summer. This genus is also commonly known by the names milkworts and snakeroots. Foliage is simple, oval-linear in shape and the leaves have smooth edges, they may be arranged oppositely, alternately or in whorls, dependent on the species. Most are hardy, however some species are tender and do not cope with freezing temperatures.

Common problems with Milkwort

How to propagate Milkwort


Softwood cuttings are best taken in early summer. Semi-ripe cuttings between mid-late summer.


Sow seed in spring or autumn.

Special features of Milkwort

Attractive flowers

Other uses of Milkwort

Grown for their pea-like flowers.


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