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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Polygalaceae

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Fabales

About 21 genera and 940 species, distributed worldwide except for the polar regions and New Zealand. Six genera and 206 species are native to southern Africa. No additional species naturalised or cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).


Four species in tropical Africa and Madagascar, of which one Carpolobia goetzei is native to southern Africa (Zimbabwe and Mozambique). See Flora of Zimbabwe.



One species: Heterosamara galpinii, native to southern Africa.



About 118 species, native to Africa from Tanzania (one species) southwards to South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape). There are 117 species native to southern Africa, most of which are endemic to the Western Cape.



Two species: Nylandtia scoparia (Northern Cape and Western Cape) and Nylandtia spinosa (Duinebessie) (Western and Eastern Cape).



About 325 species, found in temperate and warm regions of the world. Eighty-four species are native to southern Africa, mainly to fynbos in the Western Cape.


About 80 species (Africa, America, Asia); one species native to southern Africa: Securidaca longepedunculata (Violet tree).