Polygala senega L.

seneca root - Polygala senega L. 09JN18-3
seneca root - Polygala senega L. 09JN18-1

characteristics

Erect and low growing from a single root crown. Roots are woody and aromatic. Leaves are lance-shaped, dark green above, pale below with lowest leaves being purplish. Flowers are in a dense tapering spike. Initially greenish-white turning pink-white with age.

T SSN H W sun soil H2O fire N2 pH summer fall flower (seed)
P CW 0.3 0.3 S/PS F-M-C DM-M - - - green (plum) beige white

habitat

Prairie, open woods and roadsides.

uses

Used for centuries by North American aboriginals for a variety of respiratory ailments and snakebites. Upon introduction to European medicine demand greatly increased. The Northern or Manitoban variety was commercially popular due to the large roots.

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common > name = have on site
T = type: A = annual | B = biennial | P = perennial | SS = subshrub | D = deciduous | C = coniferous
██ = cold stratify | ██ = cold stratify & scarify | ██ = plant directly | ██ = scarify | ██ = not from seed
SSN = season: C = cool | W = warm | Y = late
H = height (in metres) | W = width (in metres) | B = bunch | S = sod | SB = sod/bunch
sun: S = full sun | S/PS = sun or partial shade | PS = partial shade | SH = full shade
soil: F = fine | M = medium | C = coarse
H2O = moisture requirement: D = dry | M = moist | W = wet | Z = aquatic
fire = fire tolerance: - = unknown | X = none | = some | •• = moderate | ••• = high tolerance
N2 = nitrogen fixing: = yes
summer = foliage colour | fall = foliage (stem) colour | flower (seed) = flower (seed / fruit) colour, if conspicuous
pH = acidity - alkalinity