Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Polygala myrtifolia L.

Frost tender, erect, bushy, evergreen shrub with oblong, leathery leaves and short, leafy, terminal racemes of purple-veined, greenish white flowers, to 2cm long, with crested keel petals, from spring to autumn.  To 2.5m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Cultivated with us in 1707 by the Duchess of Beaufort. […] Myrtifolia forms a straggling-branched shrub of three or four feet in height, and is found very generally in our greenhouses, where it flowers for a great part of the summer, and is of easy cultivation,’  [BR f.669/1822]. 

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine figures the variety grandiflora, with rather larger flowers.  [BM t.3616/1837].  This variety is also figured in Loddiges Botanical Cabinet under the name Polygala grandiflora [LBC no.1127/1826].

History at Camden Park

First listed in a handwritten note in an 1850 catalogue held at the Mitchell Library [MP A2947a] and subsequently in the 1857 catalogue [T.773/1857].  


Sometimes naturalised in NSW, South from Port Macquarie.  [FNSW].

Polygala myrtifolia Fries = Polygala amara L., a European species.

Published Mar 22, 2009 - 05:01 PM | Last updated Mar 24, 2010 - 03:42 PM

Shown are the oblong leaves and terminal racemes of purple-veined white flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3616, 1837.

Polygala myrtifolia L. | BM t.3616/1837 var. grandiflora | BHL

Family Polygalaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Polygala myrtifolia 

Confidence level high