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Polygala myrtifolia

This evergreen sprawling or erect shrub / tree grows well on Leisure Isle and in both SteenbokPark and KingfisherCreek. It flowers intermittently throughout the year but is at its best during spring (hence its common name) and summer.

The branches are densely covered with dark, oval shaped leaves resembling those of the myrtle – which is the meaning of myrtifolia : myrtle-like. The flowers are carried in small clusters at the ends of short branches. These flowers are very striking and even though they resemble those of the pea family, they are very different: the lower keel-like petal has a brush-like tuft on it. The other major difference is that the Polygalas do not bear leguminous fruit but their seeds are enclosed in papery, flattened capsules which remain on the bush for some time during and after flowering.

The name Polygala is derived from classical Greek polys which means much and gala meaning milk, so named because the plants were believed to enhance milk production in livestock.

Family Name:
POLYGALACEAE
Common Name:
September bush (Eng.); septemberbossie (Afr.)
Plant Height:
2 m
Flower Colour:
Pink Purple
Flowering Time:
May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April