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Plant Information

Scientific Name: Polygala virgata
Alternative Names: Ea moru (Nd), Hlokoa leleue (Sotho), Ithethe (Z)

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Polygala virgata
Polygala virgata


  • Perennial
  • Purple Broom is indigenous and can be found in Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State, Northern, Eastern and the Western Cape where it grows naturally on lower slopes and edges of bushy hillsides and along stream banks.
  • It is a charming slender, erect evergreen shrub that can grow up to a height of 1,5 to 2,5 m.
  • A single stem is formed at the base and slender hairless branches occur at the top.
  • Simple, narrow dark green leaves are alternately arranged on younger branches and usually drops before flowering.
  • From October to July drooping racemes of deep purple magenta pea-like flowers are borne at the ends of branches.
  • It is a fast growing, draught hardy shrub and can be grown in any garden in South Africa - ideal for small gardens.
  • Once established it will tolerate wind and some frost.
  • With its beautiful sprays of flowers it will be an accent plant in a shrubby garden or rockery.
  • Plant in good enriched soil in a sunny or semi-shade position in the garden.
  • It requires water once established to encourage rapid and healthy growth.
  • Purple broom is self-seeding and small seedlings will appear around the parent plant after the first flowering season.
  • These seedlings can be transplanted easily.
  • Seeds can be grown during autumn to spring.
  • For the best effect, plant 3 or more together - prune from when they are young to encourage them to bush out.
  • Purple Broom is a buzz with bees, insects and bumblebees which are attracted to the bright purple magenta flowers and it is the larval host plant for the Long-tailed Blue butterfly.

Parts Used

  • The leaves and stems.

Medicinal Uses. It is said that

  • The leaves and stems were traditionally prepared and used as blood purifiers.
  • It is anti-viral and was used to treat Herpes simplex.
The information contained within this website is for educational purposes only. This site merely recounts the traditional uses of specific plants as recorded through history. Always seek advice from a medical practitioner.

Mountain Herb Estate, and its representatives will not be held responsible for the improper use of any plants or documentation provided. By use of this site and the information contained herein you agree to hold harmless Mountain Herb Estate, its affiliates and staff
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