Common Milkwort

┬ęPhilip Precey

Common milkwort

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Scientific name: Polygala vulgaris
The dark-blue flowers of Common milkwort pepper our grasslands from May to September. It can also appear in pink and white forms.

Top facts


Height: up to 30cm

Conservation status


When to see

May to September


Common milkwort is a low-growing, sometimes trailing, flower of grasslands, particularly those of chalky soils. It blooms from May to September, the delicate flowers appearing in a variety of colours from dark-blue, through pink to white.

What to look for

Common milkwort has narrow and pointed leaves that grow alternately up the stem. Its similar and close relative, Heath milkwort, has leaves that are opposite each other. The small, blue flowers appear in loose clusters at the end of the stem.

Where to find


Did you know?

Medieval herbalists prescribed Common milkwort to nursing mothers in the belief that it made 'milk more abundant'. This idea came from its Greek name of 'much milk', which probably actually referred to the milk they got from the cattle that grazed where it grew.