Field milkwort is a North American native plant. These plants do well in sandy or rocky
soils with low nutritional content, in both dry or moist conditions.
Plants: 3-16" (7.6-40 cm) in height, with a hairless stem,
although it may look pock-marked and irregular near the top from flowers that have dropped away.
A cross-section of the stem resembles the keel of a ship or has four sharply-defined edges.
The thin taproot smells a bit like wintergreen.
Flowers: A compact raceme atop each stem, which may be purplish-pink, rose-colored, white, or pale green.
The coloring comes from enlarged sepals called “wings.”
The entire flowerhead is up to ¾" (2 cm)
tall and about ⅜" (1 cm) around. They appear from May to October.
Fruits: Each tiny flower becomes a tiny capsule
with two hairy seeds.
Individual flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, and consist of two “wings,” which are actually sepals; and a smaller yellow corolla, the true flower. There are also three more sepals and three petals, but they are too small to see in this view. · 12/12/2020 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, Massachusetts