Senega verticillata (L.) J.F.B. Pastore & J.R. Abbott

Locations ofSenega verticillata (L.) J.F.B. Pastore & J.R. Abbott in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Senega verticillata (L.) J.F.B. Pastore & J.R. Abbott
Common Name
Whorled Milkwort
Polygala verticillata L.; Polygala verticillata L. var. verticillata; Polygala verticillata L. var. isocycla Fern.
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Polygala verticillata L.
Recent studies by Pastore et al. (2019, Taxon 68: 673-691) demonstrated that the New World members and Old World members of the large and non-monophyletic genus Polygala (sensu lato) are phylogenetically, morphologically, and geographically separated into two clades and cannot be considered congeneric. Since the type species of the genus is in the Old World group, the New World species (including all from Virginia) were re-assigned to the genus Senega Spach 1838 (Pastore et al., 2023, Ann. Mo. Bot. Gard. 108: 126-249).

Under the name Polygala verticillata, two varieties have often been recognized (see Synonymy); they, as well as the former Polygala ambigua Nuttall (treated separately here as Senega ambigua), are similar and have been lumped under a broad concept of P. verticillata in most older Virginia studies. The two vars. are only weakly supported by variation that is gradational and confluent or overlapping; they are not formally treated here and varietal names are not available (at least yet) in Senega. See also map of Senega ambigua.
Dry open forests, woodlands, woodland borders, clearings, and fields. Frequent in the mountains and Piedmont and infrequent in the Coastal Plain.
Native Status

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