Gay Wings (Polygala paucifolia) is a perennial herb in the Milkwort family. The Greek name “Polygala” means much milk, and refers to the belief that eating these plants would increase the production of milk in nursing mothers and livestock. The two petals of the flower give the appearance of a bird in flight. Other common names include Bird on the Wing and Flowering Wintergreen.
These are tiny wildflowers, but if you hike the trail to Abrams Falls in early April, you can’t miss seeing many clumps of these tiny blooms on the hillside above the trail.
If you are a fan of Smoky Mountains wildflowers, please consider joining my wildflower page on facebook. We feature photography and information on bloom sightings. And if you’re travelling to the Smokies on vacation, please stop in at the William Britten Gallery along the historic Arts and Crafts Loop on Glades Rd. in Gatlinburg. All of my Smoky Mountains landscape photography is on display, and there may be a special mountain memory for you to take home.