by Eleanor Dietrich
This small yellow wildflower (Polygala nana) can grow in many different kinds of habitats but is found most frequently in damp areas throughout most of Florida and blooms from spring through fall. It is in the Milkwort family, where the typical flower structure has two spreading “wings” (which are the sepals) and three petals in the center that are united into a small tube with a fringed tip. In this plant, the flowers are tightly packed into a cone-like structure with the flowers opening at the top. It gets its common name from its roots that reportedly smell like wintergreen, but I never want to pull up this plant to test that assertion.