Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora

Bastard box has colourful scented flowers and dubious parentage.

Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora

Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora is a low maintenance, hardy, evergreen sub-shrub also known as Creeping Milkwort, Chapparal Pea or Bastard Box. It bears racemes of purple-pink and yellow, pea-like flowers. Flowering is fragrant and profuse in late winter to very early spring, often with further blooms in summer.

Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora is capable of forming a hump up to ten inches tall, but is generally flat to the ground and only two or three inches tall. Spread isĀ  slow up to 2 feet but not fast enough for serious ground cover. This makes it useful in an Alpine garden setting.

They are underutilized plants for flowering early in the new year. It is worth finding some of these small plants and looking closely at the flowers as shown here.


Polygala calcarea is a British native suitable for ppot culture. Other pot varieties include Polygala vaytredae and Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora purpurea.
Polygala paucifolia is evregreen and shruby.

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