Polygala is also known as Milkwort, Butterfly Bush, September Bush, False Legume and Ertjiebos, Septemberbos in Afrikaans.
Polygala species vary in growth habit but they all have upright-growing stems and gracefully slender branches, densely covered with glossy, myrtle-like leaves, which can be green or slightly grey. Flowers come in shades of mauve or purple, but can also be pink, scarlet, or white; and although they can appear sporadically throughout the year, flowering peaks in late winter, spring, and early summer. Light brown fruits follow the flowers, and seedlings often germinate close to the parent plant.
Although their pea-like flowers resemble those of legumes, Polygalas are easily distinguished from legumes by the feathery tuft on their lower petals.
Members of this large family of plants occur in temperate and warm climates around the world; and include perennials, shrubs and trees.
There are approximately 88 species of Polygala that occur in Southern Africa, and they are especially prolific in the South-western Cape; and common from near Clanwilliam in the Western Cape, to Kwazulu-Natal. However, Polygala can be found growing wild in both the summer and winter rainfall regions of South Africa, and in most provinces. These showy indigenous plants are widespread pioneer shrubs, which can commonly be found growing on dunes and rocky slopes, as well as in scrub and open grasslands; thriving in forests, and alongside streams.
- Location: Durbanville Nature Reserve, Durbanville, South Africa
- Date Taken: 2020-10-25
- Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
- Lens: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-200 mm 3-5.6 IS
- Exposure Program: Manual
- Image Quality: RAW
- F-Stop: f/7.1
- Exposure Time: 1/200 sec
- ISO Speed: ISO-100
- Focal Length: 200 mm
- Metering Mode: Spot Metering
- Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop CS6
- Photographer: Coreen Kuhn
- Information: PlantZAfrica.com
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