Polygala is a large genus of flowering plants belonging to the family Polygalaceae.

If, like me, you are a fan of the film ‘My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding‘ you will doubtless be aware of the oft repeated phrase used by Gus Portokalos, the father figure…

“Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek”.

In the case of this shrub Gus would have had no difficulty in explaining that poly means much and gala stands for milk. Commonly known as milkworts or snakeroots, the genus is distributed widely throughout much of the world in temperate zones and the tropics.

The genus name Polygala comes from the ancient Greek “much milk”, as the plant was thought to increase milk yields in cattle. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygala

We have a few growing in our garden at the villa. Since they have been growing for a few years, they have reached a good height and I am considering trimming them. Before I do I have a couple of questions in need of answers.

1. Can they be pruned and if they can, when is the best time to prune them?

2. Is it possible to propagate further plant by taking cuttings? If so, when is the best time to take cuttings and what is the best method of propagation?


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