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Polygala fruticosa

Polygala fruticosa

Butterfly Bush

In the wild, Polygala fruticosa occurs from the south western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. It is an attractive shrub that grows up to 2 metres tall and has lance- or heart-shaped, greenish-grey leaves. The bush carries its clusters of purple blooms at the tips of its branches. It has a long flowering period, reaching a peak between September and November. P. fruticosa grows well in acid or alkaline, sandy or clay soils, although its preference is for fast-draining soils containing well-decomposed compost. For best results the bushes should be planted in positions that receive full sun and then be watered heavily for the first few months until they are well established.

The form of this species known as ‘Southern Shores' is very highly recommended. It was specially selected by Kirstenbosch horticulturists for the compact, rounded shape of the bushes, which only reach up to 1 metre. It has bluish-green leaves and bears masses of deep purple flowers. It is tolerant of salt wind and is an ideal candidate for coastal rock gardens, garden and pavement beds, borders and large containers.

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