Polygala chamaebuxus – Bastard Box – Milkwort – Seneca – Snakeroot –


Polygala – Milkwort – Seneca – Snakeroot –
There are more than 500 species of annuals and evergreen perennial and some shrubs in this genus. They occur in a wide range of habitats worldwide, except New Zealand, Polynesia, and arctic region. They are grown for their terminal or axillary racemes of colorful, pea like flowers, produced in late spring and summer, or in some species in autumn, each flowers has 5 sepals, the inner two forming, broad, petal like “wings”, and 5 petals, the lowest forming a keel with a fringed apex, followed by a two chambered seed pod. The leaves are alternate, opposite, or whorled, linear to large oval with smooth edges and usually leathery. Grow hardy species in a woodland, rock garden, or shrub border.
Grow in light moderately fertile, humus rich, sharply drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Prune after flowering to keep habit.

P. chamaebuxus – Bastard Box – This small, spreading, evergreen shrub from alpine areas of Central Europe grows 2-8″ tall and 15″ wide. It produces elliptical shaped, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves, ½-1 1/4″ long. In late spring and early summer it bears ½” long flowers which have bright yellow lips, white or pale yellow wings, and a bright yellow keel that ages to purple or brownish crimson, the flowers may be solitary or in pairs.

Zones 6-9