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Downy milkpea
Galactia volubilis
Fabaceae
 
General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: A relatively common understory herb or small vine in pine rocklands and coastal uplands.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts.

Description: Small twining, low climbing vine.

Dimensions: N/A; a vine with stems to 3 feet or more in length.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Eastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; West Indies.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Pinelands, hammocks and thickets.

Soils: Moist, well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with or without humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Secondary line; tolerates significant salt wind without injury, but usually is somewhat protected.

Drought Tolerance: High; does not require any supplemental water once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Bright pink fading to blue.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: Small brown pod (legume).

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for cassius blue (Leptotes cassius), ceraunus blue (Hemiargus ceraunus), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), silver spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus) and zarucco duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: This is a part of a confusing group with unstable taxonomy; this species is listed under Galactia regularis in Wunderlin & Hansen (2011) and on the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. Plants in the Florida Keys and in the pine rocklands of Miami-Dade County are the closely related Galactia parvifolia, with narrow leaflets. We recommend acquiring plants of any Galactia that were originally collected from near your project location.



Other data on Galactia volubilis available from:



 
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