This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Polygala viridescens L. Sp. Pl. 705. 1753. Polygala sanguinea L. Sp. Pl. 705. 1753.
Erect, 6-15' high, annual, glabrous, branching above, leafy. Stem somewhat angled; basal leaves none; stem-leaves oblong, or linear-oblong, 8"-15" long, 1"-2" wide, obtuse or acute, mucronulate; heads globose, becoming oval, 4"-6" thick, obtuse; pedicels about i" long; flowers rose-purple, greenish, or sometimes white; wings sessile, sometimes slightly cordate, ovate, exceeding the pod; bracts generally persistent on the elongating axis; seed obovoid, hairy, about the length of the caruncle; crest minute.
In fields and meadows, Nova Scotia to southern Ontario, North Carolina, Minnesota, Kansas, Arkansas and Louisiana. June-Sept. The contrast between the green-flowered and purple-flowered forms is striking where the two grow together. Strawberry-tassel.
Polygala Curtissii A. Gray, Man. Ed. 5, 121. 1867.
Erect, slender, 8'-10' high, much resembling the preceding species and the following; heads globose or rarely elongated, at first pointed, blunt when fully developed, loosely flowered, 4"-6" thick; bracts persistent, mainly shorter than the slender pedicels; flowers purple; wings oblong, clawed, nearly erect, twice the length of the pod; seed obovoid, very hairy, apiculate; caruncle minute, much shorter than the seed.
In dry soil. Pennsylvania to Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama. Aug.-Sept.
Annual, slender, glabrous, 6-16' high, at length much branched above. Basal leaves none; stem-leaves linear, 3"-9" long, about 1" wide, entire, mostly acute, mucronulate; heads globose or slightly longer than thick, obtuse, 3"-4" wide; pediceis slender, 1 1/2"-2" long; flowers rose-purple; wings ovate-oblong or obovate, pointed, narrowed at the base, slightly longer than the pod; bracts deciduous from the elongating axis; caruncle-lobes embracing the smaller extremity of the slightly hairy obovoid seed; corolla minutely crested.
In dry soil, southern New Jersey and Delaware to Florida, west to Kentucky and Texas. July-Sept.