|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Polygala (Greek, much milk; from the old idea that some species increased the flow of milk). Poly- galaceae. Milkwort. Annual or perennial herbs, sub- shrubs, shrubs or very seldom trees, sometimes planted in the open or some kinds raised under glass for the bloom.
Leaves alternate or rarely opposite or verticillate, with or without stipules: infl. racemes or spikes, terminal, lateral, or forked, rarely axillary; fls. showy or small, colors various; calyx with very dissimilar sepals, the lateral (inner) pair larger; petals rarely 5, usually reduced to 3; stamens 8; ovary 2-celled: fr. a compressed 2-celled wing-margined or wingless caps. About 550 species scattered through the temperate and subtropical regions of the world and a few species in the tropics.
Polygalas from a cultural standpoint may be grouped as hardy and tender species and the latter are sometimes cultivated under glass, frequently outdoors in the South, as in southern California. There are about forty North American species but only a few of them have been offered by dealers in native plants. The hardy species should be grown in rather light soil, but they require some moisture and are best adapted to partially shaded positions. They may be raised from seed sown in the fall or early spring. The more commonly cultivated species are the exotic ones, especially the shrubby Cape kinds which grow from 2 to 4 feet or more high, bearing subterminal racemes of large flowers.
Index. acuminata, 10. Dalmaisiana, 7. oppositifolia, 5. alba, 1. dalmatiana, 7. paucifolia, 1. amatymbica, 10. grandiflora, 2, 6. poly gama, 4. apopetala, 9. grandis, 5 purpurea, 2 Chamaebuxus, 2. latifolia, 5. Senega. 3. cordata, 5. longiflora, 6. speciosa. 8. cordifolia, 5. major, 5. virgata, 8. dalmacina, 7. myrtifolia, 6, 7.
Two other species have been recently intro. into cult. : P.branchypoda. Tod., whose native country is not known, has erect growth, green very straight branches, long and very narrow lvs., and numerous reddish purple fls. Intro, into Calif. P. Vayredae, Costa. A small plant 4 in. high, hardy or half-hardy in England, growing only a few inches high, with linear, evergreen lvs. and reddish purple fls. with a yellow keel. Spain. Closely resembles P. Chamoebuxus, but has narrower lvs. Wilhelm Milller.
F. Tracy Hubbard. CH
- Do you have cultivation info on this plant? Edit this section!
- Do you have propagation info on this plant? Edit this section!
Pests and diseases
- Do you have pest and disease info on this plant? Edit this section!
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963