Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various plants of the genus Polygala, having variously colored, irregular flowers with two petaloid sepals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of more than 500 species of flowering plants of the genus Polygala that are used as a food source by the larvae of some members of the Lepidoptra species.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A genus of plants (Polygala) of many species. The common European Polygala vulgaris was supposed to have the power of producing a flow of milk in nurses.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant of the genus Polygala, formerly imagined to increase the milk of nurses.
  • n. A seaside plant, Glaux maritima, with the same supposed property. Also called sea-milkwort.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various plants of the genus Polygala

Etymologies

From the belief that it increases human lactation.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Of special interest are spp. of Himalayan origin such as milkwort (Lancea tibetica) and Kobresia moujr.

    Khangai Mountains alpine meadow

  • Lying on the dry brown turf, he discovered sprigs of tiny purple milkwort and pink spots of lousewort.

    The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

  • The apothecary would rearrange his bottles, moving the powdered mandrake root to the place where the tinctures of Solomon's seal and milkwort had stood.

    Mary Queen Of Scotland And The Isles

  • On the road sides you see broom, heather, heath, harebells, along with gorse and bracken with milkwort nestling underneath: crested dog's tail and sheep's fescue are common grasses, while spurrey, knotwood, corn marigold, are a few of the numerous weeds in the arable fields.

    Lessons on Soil

  • The dry, elastic turf glows, not only with its flowers, but with those of the wild thyme, the clear blue milkwort, the yellow asphodel, and that curious plant the _sundew_, with its drops of inexhaustible liquor sparkling in the fiercest sun like diamonds.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 10, No. 262, July 7, 1827

  • Or milkwort and sorrel, thyme, harebell and meadow-sweet

    Georgian Poetry 1920-22

  • All along the road in a light wind you will get the scent of bed-straw and thyme and clover from the green border of the road, and in the short down grass find the plants that love chalk-ground, like the little blue milkwort, which spreads like a film over the higher slopes of the ridge in summer.

    Highways and Byways in Surrey

  • Clover-like heads of the milkwort decorate the bank, and among the mosses around the bases of the trees the little shin-leaf lifts its pretty white racemes.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa

  • A stretch of grassy ground, which slopes down to the river's brink, is gemmed with the thick purple clusters of the milkwort, which shines among the grass as the early blossoms of the clover used to do when the summer was young.

    Some Summer Days in Iowa

  • And, turning on his face, he rested his chin on his hands, and stared at the short grass where the little blue milkwort was growing ....

    Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works

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