Shrub, 1.5-4 m high, leaves oval. Fl. white & purple, Aug or Oct or Dec. Brown-orange or grey sand, loam. Winter-wet gullies, roadsides, creeklines.
Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.
IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P2, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Armadale, Augusta-Margaret River, Busselton, Cranbrook, Denmark, Harvey, Kalamunda, Manjimup, Melville, Perth, Plantagenet, Swan, Toodyay.
Alternative Names. Milkwort.
General Biology. Growth form. Shrub. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Birds, ants, water, soil movement, garden refuse. Time to first flowering. 3 years. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Does not resprout or produce root suckers. Seedbank persistence. Medium, 1-5 years. Fire response. Hot fire will kill mature plants. Fire stimulates mass germination of the soil seed bank.
Notes. A serious bushland weed in Victoria and South Australia, particularly of coastal habitats. Two subspecies are present in WA; Polygala myrtifolia var. myrtifolia and Polygala myrtifolia var. grandiflora. P. myrtifolia var. grandiflora has not been recorded as naturalised.
Additional information. Origin. Southern Africa. History of use/introduction. Garden escape. Similar exotic species. Polygala virgata.
Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull seedlings. Fell mature plants. Follow up work removing germinating seedlings will be required for at least 5 years. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.
Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/