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Products > Polygala myrtifolia 'More Mesa Grande'
 
Polygala myrtifolia 'More Mesa Grande' - Large Sweet Pea Shrub
   

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Polygalaceae (Milkworts)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Year-round
Parentage: 9of Polygala myrtifolia 'Grandiflora' selection)
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Seaside: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Polygala myrtifolia 'Mesa Grande' (Myrtle leaf milkwort) - A dense evergreen shrub that grows 5 to 7 feet tall by an equal spread with oval 1 to 2 inch long leaves that are medium to dark green. The unique rich purple flowers emerge in clusters at the branch tips from green half moon shaped buds that are marked with veins with the flowers having two winged violet-purple petals that surround the whitish purple lacy crest. This plant is in bloom most of the year with spring as the peak bloom period. Plant in sun or part shade with occasional irrigation noted as being fairly drought tolerant by South African gardeners but seems to look its best with at least occasional irrigation. It is hardy to our southern California winters along the coast and can be grown in warmer areas of the British Isles where it is noted to survive temperatures just below 20F with the tip growth nipped back for us it has remained evergreen without any damage from temperatures down to the mid 20s F. This plant inhabits areas along the seashore in South Africa and is noted as tolerant of wind and coastal sea spray. It occurs naturally in diverse habitats from near the ocean to up in the mountains from the Western Cape Province to Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa and into Orange Free State. Polygala myrtifolia is a little less common in the nursery trade though it is one of the parents of the popular Polygala x dalmaisiana (the other parent is Polygala oppositifolia) from which this plant differs by being a much bigger plant with larger darker green foliage and larger flowers. The name Polygala is Latin from the Greek word 'polugalon' for "much milk" because of the belief that cows grazing on milkwort increased their milk production and the specific epithet comes from the foliage looking like that of the true Myrtle (Myrtus). Other common names include Augustusbossie and September Bush as peak bloom in South Africa is during later winter and spring (August-September). This is a form of Polygala myrtifolia 'Grandiflora' that we got in 2009 from West Covina Nursery, a wholesale nursery located on More Mesa along the edge of the Goleta Valley. Thought its flower color is not as dark as the form of Polygala myrtifolia 'Grandiflora' that we have been growing since 1996, it has larger flowers and larger leaves and the plant more dense and lush looking. After years of comparing we decided in 2013 to replace our older form with this clone and to keep track of this plant have renamed it Polygala myrtifolia 'More Mesa Grande' to honor the location of the nursery that we got it from.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Polygala myrtifolia 'More Mesa Grande'.