Heath Milkwort - Polygala serpyllifolia


    Distinguished from P. vulgaris by having opposite lower leaves. The flowers are usually blue, but pink and white flowers do occur, sometimes in the same colony as blue flowers.

    Similar Species

    Common Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris) has alternate, not opposite, leaves.  Chalk Mikwort (Polygala calcarea) has been recorded in VC55, but only on a few sites in limestone areas; it has larger lower leaves clustered into a rosette.

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Lower stem-leaves opposite; heathland or acid grassland

    Recording advice

    The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


    Grassland, heath and short turf but not found on calcareous soil or dunes.

    When to see it

    June to August and sometimes later.

    Life History


    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain but quite local in some areas.

    VC55 Status

    Infrequent and local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 9 of the 617 tetrads.

    In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as scarce and almost confined to Charnwood Forest.

    It is on the VC55 Rare Plant Register

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

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