Downy milkpea
Galactia volubilis
Fabaceae


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.
Height:
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.
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.