Common Milkwort - Polygala Vulgaris - Western Isles Blue Wildflowers

Common Milkwort - Western Isles Wildflowers

Common Milkwort - Wildflowers
You can see these lovely wildflowers in The Western Isles. The plant is very similar to that of The Heath Milkwort, however the leaves of Common Milkwort are arranged alternately up the stem, whereas in the Heath Milkwort the lower leaves are opposite each other up the stem.

The height of the common milkwort plant is 10–25 cm (4–10 in.) and there are many stems. The flowers are very tiny 6-8mm and the leaves are elongated and hairy

Flowers - May - September
The flowers show themselves from May through to September. This wildflower plant grows to about 14 ins in height. The stems have lots of branches and are woody at the base. The flower's outer three sepals are normally small, green and insignificant, while the inner two sepals are bigger

Blue, Pink, Mauve or White Wildflowers
These lovely wildflowers are native to the Western Isles, Scotland. Lovely blue, pink or occasionally white wildflowers. A perennial herb that that like the soil in the machair that has had the broken shells blown into the sand. The flowers are udder shaped. These flowers are part of the Polygalaceae family.

The common milkwort flower's outer three sepals are normally small, green and insignificant, however the inner two sepals are bigger and brightly coloured blue, mauve, pink or white. Whatever colour you are fortunate to see, these wildflowers flowers are really beautiful

Name Derivation - Milk Yield for Cattle - Mini Udders - Wild Thyme

The family name is derived from Greek and means "much milk" - it was believed that the cattle that grazed on these plants had a good high yield of milk.

Another suggestion is that the plant was so named as the flowers are like mini udders. It was once believed that a nursing mother could increase her production of milk by eating this plant.

Click pictures below for larger photographs


Similarities between Heath & Common Milkwort
Common Milkwort is quite similar to the Heath Milkwort but in this species the inner sepals are usually longer than the petals and the other difference is that in the Common Milkwort the hairy leaves are arranged up the stem alternately (as in the picture opposite) whereas in Heath Milkwort the lower leaves are dead opposite each other up the stem.

Food for Moths and Butterflies and Bees
This lovely plant is a favourite food source for moths and butterflies and heavy insects – such as bees – which are able to bend the lower petal’s grooved tip downwards to open the way to the nectar

Common milkwort-leaves

Blue Common Milkwort Hebrides Flora
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