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Products > Polygala x dalmaisiana
Polygala x dalmaisiana - Sweet Pea Shrub

Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Polygalaceae (Milkworts)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Year-round
Synonyms: [P. myrtifolia var. dalmaisiana]
Parentage: (P. oppositifolia x P. myrtifolia)
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
PPolygala x dalmaisiana (Sweet Pea Shrub) - Thought to be a cross between Polygala oppositifolia and P. myrtifolia, this attractive fast growing shrub typically grows 3-5 feet tall with narrow 1 inch long dull green leaves and flowers that are a purplish pink with two winged petals that surround the whitish-purple lacy crest. In coastal climates this plant can be in bloom throughout the year. The flower color combination is not easy to combine with but can be used effectively with blue and white flowering plants. Plant in full sun or part shade with regular to little irrigation. Documented elsewhere as hardy to at least 24F but we had plants survive our December 1990 freeze, sustaining temperatures throughout the night below freezing and several hours down to 18F. It also tolerates a wide range of soil types but not heavy wet soil. The trunk and lower stems are often bare so trim or shear to keep compact. Not a particularly long lived plant but useful for its fast growth and continual flowering and its cut stems of flowers are great and last well in arrangements. 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. The hybrid name "x dalmaisiana" dates back to a description in the "Revue Horticole" from 1844 and is often misinterpreted as a misspelling of "dalmatiana" as a geographical reference to Croatia's Dalmatian Coast, but is actually named for Mr. Dalmais, the French gardener who raised it from seed in 1839.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Polygala x dalmaisiana.