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Colletia hystrix

Colletia hystrix (Barbed wire bush, Crucifixion thorn)

is a small frost hardy perennial evergreen shrub with white flowers in mid Autumn. It grows well in direct sun, and prefers low levels of water. It has high drought tolerance.
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This shrub has all year round interest.



This is usually a leafless tree. What look like leaves are in fact fleshy flattened stems with spines on the ends to keep animals from eating it. Tiny leaves sometimes appear after heavy rains but these are not significantly visible.


Colletia hystrix grows in soils ranging from a pH of 5 (extremely acidic ranges from 0 to 5.1) to 8.5 (alkaline ranges from 8.1 to 8.5). It is adapted to chalk, clay loam, loam, loamy sand, peat, sandy clay, sandy clay loam and sandy loam soils, and prefers high fertility.


This is a erect shrub has an ultimate height of 2m / 6.6ft and spread of 1m / 3.3ft. It can take 6-10 years to reach its ultimate height.


It has green leaves.


The plant prefers a sheltered situation.


A strong pleasant scent is emitted from the flower.


Architectural, city courtyard garden, container plant, mixed shrub border and security/barrier.


Argentina. Chile.

-5°C / 23F 5 to 8.5 6-10 years 2m / 6.6ft 1m / 3.3ft
Scientific classifications [Edit]
Genus ? Colletia
Specific epithet ? hystrix
Common names
Barbed wire bush (Ireland), Crucifixion thorn (Ireland)
User notes have orange headings. All other information is made up from editing attributes. IPNI details on Colletia hystrix
    References [edit] ?

    Plant added by plantdatabase

    Colletia hystrix http://plantdatabase.co.uk/Colletia_hystrix
    © Plant Database Ltd., 26th July 2014     Web: http://plantdatabase.co.uk     Email: mail@plantdatabase.co.uk
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    • Tidbit
    • When watering, always water the base of the plant. If you water the leaves most of it will just evaporate. Also, just water once a week so that the ground is soaked. This helps roots grow down into the ground, otherwise you will end up with shallow roots.
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