Such a tiny, delicate, crimson-headed sprite of a flower may be easily overlooked in the grass. The erect, wiry stems grow from six to fifteen inches in height. It is very leafy, branches at the top, and is somewhat angled. The small, narrow, acutely-pointed leaves are thick and clasping. Their margin is entire, and they are alternated on the stalk. The Clover-like flower heads are composed of numerous tiny flowers, closely clustered in a thick, oval spike. Green flower heads are often found growing in company with the crimson ones, and the two together are very curious and pretty. The tiny petals of the flower are enveloped with two enlarged, crimson sepals which are overlapped so tightly that the petals are hidden from view. The lower rows of flowers mature in succession and drop away as the head is prolonged.
Polygala is the Greek word for much milk, and cattle feeding upon the plants were formerly supposed to yield larger quantities of this commodity. This Milkwort is found in fields and meadows from New England south to North Carolina, and west to Minnesota, Arkansas, and Louisiana, from June to September.