Galactia volubilis (L.) Britt var. volubilis

Locations ofGalactia volubilis (L.) Britt var. volubilis in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Galactia volubilis (L.) Britt var. volubilis
Common Name
Downy Milkpea
Galactia regularis (L.) B.S.P. (misapplied); Galactia macreei M.A. Curtis
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Galactia volubilis (L.) Britt var. volubilis
Problems in the interpretation of type specimens, along with nomenclatural confusion, created an unfortunate situation in which the names Galactia volubilis and G. regularis were both applied to two different species by various botanists over time, with the misapplications included in some of the most commonly used manuals. Nesom (2015) examined all of the USA Galactia types and settled the matter once and for all: “Application of the names Galactia volubilis, G. regularis, G. macreei, and G. glabella has been controversial and inconsistent but typifications outlined in the present study strongly constrain the taxonomy.... Galactia regularis refers to the species widespread in the eastern USA, with leaflets mostly elliptic to broadly elliptic, relatively small flowers, and twining stems hirsute-villous with deflexed hairs. Galactia volubilis (with G. glabella and G. macreei as synonyms) is the species with characteristically narrowly oblong leaflets, slightly larger flowers, and twining, sparsely antrorsely strigose to glabrate stems; it is distributed mostly on the coastal plain from North Carolina to Georgia and Florida, then westward to Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.” In Virginia, Galactia volubilis is mostly restricted to the s. and c. Coastal Plain, while G. regularis is distributed state-wide.
See Nesom, G.L. 2015. Taxonomy of Galactia (Fabaceae) in the USA. Phytoneuron 2015-42: 1–54 for more information.
Sandhill woodlands and dry clearings. Frequent in the s. and c. Coastal Plain.
Native Status

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