Fringed Polygala – My Current Favorite Wildflower

I recently posted a photo that I captioned “something purple” – it showed unopened purple flower buds that weren’t a species I recognized. Well, the buds have blossomed into this.

This is not a wildflower I had ever seen before. Turns out it’s called fringed polygala, or gaywing (scientific name Polygala paucifolia). Check out that gorgeous color, and the structure of those petals! I love it. The central tube-shaped petal with the fringe encloses the reproductive structures, which are exposed when a pollinating insect lands in the right spot. In Ohio, where I’m from, it’s listed as endangered – explains why I never saw one there.

What’s the best thing blooming where you are now?

5 thoughts on “Fringed Polygala – My Current Favorite Wildflower”

  1. Nice! That’s a beautiful flower! I’m glad you finially got to see what it was. :) Did you ever figure out what your green thing was from the March 11 Phenology post?

  2. I’ve not been blessed with the time or opportunity to do some woods wandering lately, but the Catalpa trees are sharing their big sexy showy blooms in the neighborhood. It was dark when I noticed while perambulating the pooches, and didn’t grab a leaf, so i have no idea if they’re C. speciosa or C. bignonioides but only C. bigno is a Missouri native apparently. either way, they’re one of my favorite trees, with the great big flowers, massive leaves, and enormous seed pods.

  3. I have long loved this flower! It seems to epitomize JOY! And makes a similar flower essence.

    I’ve not had time to comment on your last few posts. The photos have been mot engaging – a pleasure to see. Your spring seems to be a bit ahead of ours, although this week Nature seemed to begin her rush to catch up.

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