Dwarf milkwort

Scientific name: Polygala amarella
Dwarf milkwort is a rare plant of chalk and limestone grasslands with short turf; it can mainly be found in Kent, Yorkshire and Cumbria. It has bluish, sometimes pink, flowers atop its short stems.

Species information

Statistics

Height: 5-25cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to July

About

Dwarf milkwort is a small, short-lived perennial that can be found on chalk and limestone grasslands, particularly with short turf. It is rare and mainly found in small populations in Kent (hence its other name of 'Kentish milkwort') and the north of England, including Yorkshire and Cumbria. Look for small clusters of tiny bluish or pinky flowers from May to July.

How to identify

Dwarf milkwort is a low-growing plant that has tiny, blue or pink flowers that sit in small clusters atop the stems. Its leaves are elliptical, stalkless and alternate up the stem.

Distribution

Small populations in Northern England and Kent.

Did you know?

Dwarf milkwort is a member of the family of plants that Medieval herbalists prescribed to nursing mothers in the belief that it made 'milk more abundant'. This idea came from its Greek name of 'much milk', which probably actually referred to the milk they got from the cattle that grazed where it grew.