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Rhamnaceae, Colletia paradoxa, Crucifixion Thorn – South America

October 15, 2012

Native to South America – Argentina, Chile, and Southern Brazil – this interesting member of the Rhamnaceae family, known variously as Barbed Wire Bush, Crucifixion Thorn, and Anchor plant (for obvious reason), has spines that are larger then its leaves (maybe that’s the paradox in the plant’s species name Latin name Colletia paradoxa). If you look very closely you will see a few tiny leaves in the photo below. I imagine the thorns could be photosynthetic. The shrub/small tree is very slow growing and can reach a height of 5 m (about 16 ft.)

Here are some previous posts on other members of the Rhamnaceae family, including a photos and info on a few Ziziphus species

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 18, 2012 10:08:30 pm

    Every time we head down to the Tasmanian Botanic Gardens we head straight over to the xeriscape garden area and check this beauty out. I was once guilty of taking a few suruptitious cuttings to attempt to grow it back home. I gave the cuttings to a horticultural friend who runs a nursery and have NO idea if they struck or not because when we moved out to the bush we lost contact with our friend. Might have to reconnect with him now. He specialises in cold climate shrubs especially Rhododendrons and Azaleas because he inherited the lease on an old property adjacent to his nursery that contains rare specimens. They are his bread and butter plants but his true love is for cold climate (temperate) edible shrubs and perennials. Thanks for reminding me of “Nibsy” and I feel a 130km round trip coming on to catch up with him 🙂

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