T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Colletia paradoxa (Anchor Plant)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Colletia
Species: Colletia paradoxa
Common name: Anchor Plant, Jet Plane Plant, Crucifixion Thorn, Thorn of the Cross, Gigs, Curumamil, Cross, Crown of the cross.

Colletia paradoxa is an evergreen bushy shrub with woody main stems and is native to is native to Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil where it is under threat of extinction, due to a loss of habitat. It grows slowly to 3 m tall.
It is a shrub with flattened, blue-green photosynthetic stems (called cladoes) that function as leaves. These cladoes protect the plant from herbivores with sharp terminal spines. The stems are arranged in opposite pairs looking like boat anchors or aeroplane propellers.
Colletia paradoxa has small leaves only as new growth, these are present only for a very short time.
During autumn, the plant is covered with sweet, almond scented, tiny, creamy white flowers which develop at the stem joints.


The small yellow cup is left behind after flower fall off.