The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Bok Tower Gardens
The conservation of Polygala lewtonii is fully sponsored.
Dorothy M. Brazis contributed to this Plant Profile.
P. lewtonii is a short-lived (5 to 10 year) perennial herb with one to several annual stems that grow up to 20 centimeters tall. Stems are spreading, upward-curving, or erect, and often branched. The narrow, succulent sessile leaves are 0.5 inches long, wider above the middle, and overlapping along the stem. The dark pink flowers occur in racemes and are about 0.5 cm long. This plant also produces smaller, cleistogamous flowers. Flowering occurs from February to May. (USFWS 1999)
This species is often overlooked and confused with its more common relative, Polygala polygama. This species can be distinguished from the rare P. lewtonii because it forms larger clumps, has a longer root, narrower leaves, and differently-shaped wing sepals. Its short branches hug the ground and bear inconspicuous self-pollinating flowers. (USFWS 1999)
Distribution & Occurrence
P. lewtonii is found in white sand, scrub characterized by longleaf pine and low scrub oaks, including low turkey oak woods, and in transitional sandhill/scrub habitats. This species occasionally inhabits powerline clearings or new roadsides. (USFWS 1999)
This species is often found in the company of other federally listed plants, including Warea amplexifolia, Ziziphus celata, Prunus geniculata, Nolina brittoniana, and Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium. (USFWS 1999)
|75 sites in Christman report, one protected at Tiger Creek sites in Highlands, Polk, Osceola, Lake, and Marion Counties (including Ocala National Forest.) Since the plant is easily overlooked or confused with similar species, it may be more abundant than surveys indicate.
Protected sites for this species include Ocala F, Lake Wales Ridge SF, Arbuckle SP, Catfish Creek SP, Tiger Creek Preserve, Pine Ridge Preserve at Bok Tower Gardens, and Highlands Hammock SP.
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Seeds are likely dispersed by ants, but this relationship has yet to be confirmed (Weekley 1996)
Archbold Biological Station is conducting research on the fire response, reproductive biology, and demographics of this species.
Determine significance of transitional sandhill/scrub habitats.
Fire management and implementation of prescribed burning schedules.
Monitoring the response of P. lewtonii to fire.
Research the life history and propagation of P. lewtonii since it has not been reported in the literature.
Annual field surveys of existing populations.
Taylor, W.K. 1992. The Guide to Florida Wildflowers. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company. 320p.