Polygala myrtifolia may grow to a small tree of 4 m, but usually only a shrub of about 2 m (SA Tree List No. 302.1).
The plant has earned common names in Afrikaans of Augustusbossie (little August bush) and Septemberbossie. These names reflect the flowering time of the plant that culminates in the two mentioned months, but may last longer, particularly in winter and spring.
The plant is also commonly called langelier in Afrikaans, a name that defies translation, unless it is derived from angelier meaning (tall) carnation, a flower bearing no resemblance.
The species distribution of this South African endemic is in the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and somewhat curiously, said to extend into Gauteng.
The variable habitat is lowland parts, moist evergreen forest, grassland, dune bush and even sand dunes. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The bark was used by Cape Malay people in olden days in the bathing of their dead before burial (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.redlist.sanbi.org).