Having examined the available material for Madagascar, as well as many African specimens, we have concluded that the Malagasy plants are conspecific with typical Polygala capillaris from Africa, a member of a sp. complex widely distributed in tropical Africa and which needs further study. We consider P. capillaris subsp. capillaris to be distinct from P. capillaris subsp. perrottetiana (Paiva) Paiva, provisionally at subsp. rank, the latter has not occur in Madagascar. As evidenced by the discordance between Paiva's specimen annotations and his 1998 treatment, it is clear that he was not certain of the taxonomic relationship between the Malagasy material and the African species. Paiva annotated some specimens as var. filicaulis (Baill.) Paiva, but this combination does not appear to have been published, and he eventually recognized P. filicaulis as a separate species, but we are not inclined to agree with this, and have reduced it to synonymy, pending a full revision of the sp. complex.