Polygale (Polygala Myrtifolia), Beautiful Complex Flowers

Polygala has many species, including perennials and evergreen shrubs. The leaves are leathery, alternate, opposite or verticillate, linear to rounded.

Polygala or polygonal with myrtle leaves

The flowers are very interesting: papilionaceous, very colorful, they form terminal or axillary clusters, with their five sepals (two of which have wide petaloid wings) and five petals with a hull at the fimbriated end.

Polygalas are controversial now because they are suspected of transmitting the bacterium called "killer olivers", Xylella fastidiosa.

  • Family: Polygalaceae
  • Type: perennial
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Color: purple, purple purple, pink, blue
  • Sowing: yes
  • Cutting: yes
  • Planting: spring
  • Flowering: May to August or even frost for some species
  • Height: up to 2.50 m depending on the species

Ideal soil and exposure to plant a Polygala in the garden

The Polygala will enjoy a rich and fresh soil but it also supports dry soil. Sunny exposure is required.

Date of sowing, cutting and planting Polygala

In autumn, the sowing of hardy species can be done in pots under a cold frame, but you will wait until spring to sow the more fragile species at 15° C minimum.

Herbaceous cuttings can be made in June or semi-woody in summer.

The planting will be preferably in the spring.

Board of maintenance and culture of Polygala

Polygalas are easy and do not require much care. For shrubby forms, you will have to cut them severely during the winter, every 4 or 5 years so that they leave well.

Diseases, pests and parasites of Polygala

Whiteflies and aphids are to be feared especially in the greenhouse for the less rustic Polygalas grown in pots.

Location and favorable association of Polygala

It is a plant that is grown in pots for species that fear frost. Otherwise, rustic Polygala can be in the undergrowth or in rock gardens, in hedges.

The most common species is the myrtle leaf polygon, Polygala myrtifolia, which is a shrub up to 2.5 m tall, which gives flowers 1 to 2 cm long until autumn, but is not hardy (about 5° C). The Polygala myrtifolia 'grandiflora' also called Polygala x dalmaisiana has the same characteristics but flowers a little larger (2 to 3 cm long) purple or magenta pink with white hull.

The Polygala calcarea is a very hardy perennial that does not exceed 5 cm in height with dark blue flowers from May to June measuring just 1 cm long.

The Polygala chamaebuxus is a small shrub with spreading habit measuring 15 cm high, very rustic, whose flowers of 1 to 2 cm long are pink with yellow hull.

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