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Senega ambigua (Nuttall) J.F.B. Pastore & J.R. Abbott. Subgenus: Senega. Section: Verticillatae. Loose Milkwort. Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: Fields, woodlands, openings. Dist: ME west to MI, south to GA, AL, and OK.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: Through most of its range S. ambigua has wings 1.3-1.7 mm long; plants from se. VA south to SC and from the Ozarks have wings 2.0-2.6 mm long. These plants have been named as a variety of Polygala verticillata, var. dolichoptera Fernald. They may warrant taxonomic recognition, but need additional study, including resolution of our Coastal Plain plants and those of the Ozarks.

Synonymy: = Pastore et al (2023); = Polygala ambigua Nutt. – C, G, Il, K1, K3, K4, NE, S, S13, Tn; = Polygala verticillata L. var. ambigua (Nutt.) Wood – GrPl, Pa, RAB, Tat, Tx; < Polygala verticillata L. – FNA10, W; > Polygala verticillata L. var. ambigua (Nutt.) Wood – F, WV; > Polygala verticillata L. var. dolichoptera Fernald – F, WV

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU (name change)
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACU (name change)
  • Great Plains: FACU (name change)
  • Midwest: FACU (name change)
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACU (name change)

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image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷

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