Polygala is a large genus with approximately 659 annuals, evergreen perennials, shrubs and tree species that produce showy, colourful, pea-shaped flowers. Typical flower colours are blue, purple and pink and these appear during spring and summer. This genus is also commonly known by the names milkworts and snakeroots. Foliage is simple, oval-linear in shape and the leaves have smooth edges, they may be arranged oppositely, alternately or in whorls, dependent on the species. Most are hardy, however some species are tender and do not cope with freezing temperatures.