Perfect for water-wise gardens

2008-05-08 00:00

Polygala myrtifolia otherwise known as the September bush is an attractive evergreen shrub which is well suited to low maintenance water-wise gardens, however it is very versatile and able to adapt to most gardens. This shrub grows up to 2,5 metres tall in the garden.

Polygala myrtifolia is a very attractive rounded shrub, with small light green leaves and dense foliage. The pale purple to pink pea-shaped flowers are borne in small clusters and create a beautiful display. Under close inspection you will notice the individual flowers show a range of shades with delicate veins which make this a most interesting garden subject. These flowers appear in spring and flowering takes place almost all year round, however the shrub flowers less profusely during the other seasons.

Large colourful carpenter bees are attracted to the flowers of the Polygala myrtifolia and drill holes and nest in nearby dead wood.

Polygala myrtifolia occurs naturally from the Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal in areas with good rainfall. It grows in most habitats except in the interior of evergreen forests, and it most commonly found on the edge of coastal dune forests.

The easiest method of propagation is by seed. In the garden the Polygala myrtifolia will self-seed very easily and you will often find small seedlings growing beneath the existing shrub which you can carefully remove and replant or share with your friends.

Polygala myrtifolia has many uses in the garden, the dense foliage makes it a good option for a low-growing screen, it can also be used in an informal border, and looks great when planted next to water or a pond. It can also be used in pots at an entrance and because of its rounded shape it can easily be trimmed and pruned into the popular lollipop shape.

Polygala myrtifolia likes a warm temperate climate with at least moderate rainfall.

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