Polygala smallii is a short-lived, herbaceous member of the milkwort family. This erect plant typically grows no taller than 8 cm (3.1 inches) in height (Kennedy 1998) and forms rosettes of 1 - 4 unbranched stems. The taproot is well developed and scented. Leaves are oblanceolate to lanceolate in shape and measure approximately 1.5 - 5 cm (0.6 - 2.0 inches) in length, and 0.2 - 1.4 cm (0.08 - 0.6 inches) in width. Asymmetrical yellow flowers appear on cylindrical racemes that measure 0.4 - 7 cm (0.2 - 2.8 inches) in length. Each flower has 5 sepals, with the lateral pair large and petaloid. Corollas are greenish-yellow and bear 3 petals. Fruit is a 2-celled capsule that opens along the center to reveal a seed 1.2 - 1.4 mm (0.05 - 0.06 inches) in length, covered in short, stiff hairs (Gann and Bradley 1995;USFWS 1999).
- Gann, G. and K. Bradley. 1995. Endangered species status survey: Polygala smallii Smith and Ward. Tiny Polygala. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville, Florida.
- Kral, R. 1983. A report on some rare, threatened or endangered forest-related vascular plants of the South. USDA Forest Service, Technical Publication R8-TP2. 1305 pp.
- Menges, E.S., and D.R.Gordon. 1996. Three levels of monitoring intensity for rare plant species. Natural Areas Journal 16:227-237.
- Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resource Management. 1994. Annual Report.Endangered pine rockland plant species recovery project.Unpublished report prepared for the U.S. Fish and WildlifeService, Jacksonville, Florida.
- Peroni, P.A. and W.G. Abrahamson. 1985. A rapid method for determining losses of native vegetation. Natural Areas Journal 5: 20-24.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS). 1996. Recovery plan for nineteen Florida scrub and high pineland species (Revised). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Atlanta, GA.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service(USFWS). 1999. South Florida multi-speciesrecovery plan. Atlanta, GA. 2,172 pp.
- Wunderlin, R.P. 1982. Guide to the Vascular Flora of Central Florida. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. 472 pp.
- Zomlefer, W. 1991. Flower Plants of Florida, a Guide to Common Families. Biological Illustration, Inc. Gainesville, Florida.
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