05.05.2020 Gaywings

Often mistaken for an orchid, Fringed Polygala aka Gaywings- Polygala paucifolia-aaka-Polygaloides paucifolia, is actually in the Milkwort family which got its name from the folk belief that eating it would produce an increase in mother’s milk production.

I usually find these in pine woods such as, in this case, Lawrence Swamp’s wooded land. They can be quite prolific. Looks like a bottle brush.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, macro photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to 05.05.2020 Gaywings

  1. Your Polygala looks so different from either species in central Texas that I’d never have guessed its genus. Still, I wouldn’t have taken it for an orchid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think those who mistake it for an orchid don’t look closely or understand what an orchid flower looks like. OTOH, your Polygala alba doesn’t look like a Gaywings so could have fooled me.


  2. shoreacres says:

    It’s rare for the leaves of one plant to remind me of another, but these did bring to mind a little gem called Carolina elephant’s foot. I think it’s the way the flowers are arranged above the leaves. In any event, the elephant’s foot has flowers held above bracts, and it’s in the Asteraceae, but still…

    I’ve got an unidentified beauty that reminded me of an orchid, too. One of my goals for the week is to get better photos, so the identification process goes more easily.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Todd Henson says:

    These look fascinating. I don’t recall seeing them before, but a little searching shows their range does extend through this region, so I’ll have to keep my eyes open for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Splendid capture, Steve. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one in the wild before. They are quite pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Eliza. They are delightful little flowers and once established somewhere quite prolific as well. Not far from this one is a little mound that gets covered with them…sort of. It’s not a blanket but there are hundreds.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. krikitarts says:

    I can sure see where the “wings” came from, though they look as much like ears as wings. Of course, “wings” is a more whimsical and romantic name. Besides, I can’t really find a face below the ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have never seen flowers quite like them. They are so beautiful, and wonderfully captured, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful image Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bluebrightly says:

    Interesting! A new flower to me. What a terrific place you live in! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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