Small's Milkpea - Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

Small's Milkpea (Galactia smallii)

Small's Milkpea is a delicate, sprawling herb, shown here growing in the nursery at Fairchild Tropical Garden. The flowers are pinkish and it has been reported to bloom all year. Photo Credit: Jennifer Possley
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: FL
  • Nature Serve ID: 156985
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/25/1988

Galactia smallii is a delicate, trifoliate sprawling herb with pink or lavender pea-like flowers (Avery and Loope 1980, Herndon 1981, Isley 1990). It is endemic to Miami-Dade County's rare pine rockland ecosystem (Hainds et al. 1999, Coil 2000, Fisher 2000). Currently, G. smallii is known from only 6 sites, but a few more populations likely exist on private land (USFWS 1999).

Where is Small's Milkpea (Galactia smallii) located in the wild?


Pine rocklands, in areas with higher elevation and lower shrub cover than preferred by other Galactia spp (O'Brien 1997, 1998).


G. smallii is known from Miami-Dade County, Florida (O'Brien 1997).

States & Provinces:

Small's Milkpea can be found in Florida

Which CPC Partners conserve Small's Milkpea (Galactia smallii)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Tina Stanley
  • 05/11/2023
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

According to a March 2023 extract of the Florida Plant Rescue Database, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden holds 17 accessions of Galactia smallii totalling approximately 8460 seeds representing 196 maternal lines.

  • 09/12/2020
  • Living Collection

Fairchild Tropical Garden has a small ex situ collection of G. smallii.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

This species' narrow geographic range and the small amount of suitable habitat available account for the low number of individuals and populations. Only 11 occurrences are known, all located in a small area of Dade County, Florida. The species' habitat is threatened by residential, commercial, and agricultural development, by succession in the absence of fire, and by competition from agressive exotic plants.

Jennifer Possley
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat loss and fragmentation Encroachment of the exotic species Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and cane grass (Neyraudia reynaudiana) (O'Brien and Koptur 1995). Fire suppression

Jennifer Possley
  • 01/01/2010

There are six known populations of G. smallii left in Miami-Dade County. Most of these have less than 50 plants (Fisher 2000). There is no information on the number or status of privately owned populations.

Jennifer Possley
  • 01/01/2010

J. O'Brien (1997, 1998) studied habitat preferences as part of a M.S. thesis at Florida International University.

Jennifer Possley
  • 01/01/2010

G. smallii is found on private lands as well as land owned and managed by Miami-Dade County.

Jennifer Possley
  • 01/01/2010

Management and research needs include population identification and protection on private lands and potential locations for reintroduction. Research and implementation of fire management is also needed.

Jennifer Possley
  • 01/01/2010

Fairchild Tropical Garden has a small ex situ collection of G. smallii. More seed collection and/or propagation would be needed if an outplanting were to take place.


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Taxon Galactia smallii
Authority H.J. Rogers ex Herndon
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 1973
ITIS 195914
Common Names small's milk-pea | Small's milkpea
Associated Scientific Names Galactia prostrata | Galactia smallii
Distribution G. smallii is known from Miami-Dade County, Florida (O'Brien 1997).
State Rank
State State Rank
Florida S1
Ecological Relationships

Known pollinators are three species of bees, one species of wasp, and the Cassius blue butterfly (Leptotes cassius theonus) (USFWS 1999) This species flowers more profusely after a burn (USFWS 1999)

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bees Confirmed Pollinator Link
Butterflies & Moths
Blues Lepotes cassius theonus Confirmed Pollinator Link
Wasp Confirmed Pollinator Link

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