Galactia mollis

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Galactia mollis
Gala moll.jpg
Photo by Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae ⁄ Leguminosae
Genus: Galactia
Species: G. mollis
Binomial name
Galactia mollis
GALA MOLL dist.jpg
Natural range of Galactia mollis from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Soft milkpea

Taxonomic notes


Generally, the genus Galactia are "trailing or twining, climbing, perennial, herbaceous or woody vines or erect, perennial herbs or rarely shrubs. Leaves 1-pinnate, usually 3-foliolate (or rarely 1-,5-7-,9-folilolate); leaflets entire, petiolulate, stipellate. Racemes axillary, pedunculate with few to numerous, papilionaceous flowers borne solitary or 2-several at a node, ech subtended by a bract and fusion of the 2 uppermost, with the laterals usually shorter than the uppermost and lowermost; petals usually red, purple, pink or white; stamens diadelphous or elsewhere occasionally monadelphous; ovary sessile or shortly stipitate. Legume oblong-linear to linear, few-many seeded, compressed, straight or slightly curbed, dehiscent with often laterally twisting valves."[1]

Specifically, for the species, Galactia mollis, they are "trailing or twining and climbing herbaceous vines with densely spreading short-pubescent stems, to 1.5 m long. Leaves 3-foliolate, rachis 2-8 mm long; leaflets narrowly to widely oblong to elliptic, 2-4 (5) cm long, more or less spreading short-pubescent or pilosulose on both surfaces. Racemes (0.3) 1-2 dm long, with densely spreading pubescent peduncles and rachises, flowers in clusters of 1-3, each cluster on a peduncle 1-3 mm long subtended by a linear-subulate bract ca. 2 mm long; bractlets 1-2 mm long. Calyx densely villous, tube 1.8-2.5 mm long, lobes 3-4.5 mm long; petals red or rose-purple, the standard 7-9 mm long. Legume 2.5-4 cm long and 4.5-5.5 mm broad, densely tomentose." [1]




This species has been found in longleaf pine-wiregrass environments, woodlands, scrub, sandhills, ridges, and moist slopes of pinelands. Primarily found in open areas, it has been observed growing in sandy soils that are dry, loose, drying, deep and/or moist. This species has been found in disturbed areas as well in seepage under powerlines as well.[2]

Associated species found growing with Galactia molllis include Rhynchoshia reinformis, Pinus palustris, Aristida stricta, Quercus laevis, Physalis arenicola, Penstemon australis, Phlox nivalis, Stylodon, Rhynchospora, and Panicum.[2]


This species has been observed flowering May through July and fruiting May through October.[2]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [3]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. Print.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, R. Kral, R.K. Godfrey, R. S. Mitchell, Gwynn W. Ramsey, Harry E. Ahles, J. Haesloop, Wilbur H Duncan, and James W. Hardin. States and Counties: Florida: Clay, Hamilton, Leon, Taylor, Levy, Wakulla, Leon, Suwannee, and Santa Rosa. North Carolina: Cumberland. Georgia: Grady, Baker, Thomas, and Worth.
  3. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.