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


Lycium ferocissimum (Boxthorn)

Kingdom: Plantae
(Unranked): Angiosperms
(Unranked): Eudicots
(Unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Tribe: Lycieae
Genus: Lycium
Species: L. ferocissimum
Binomial name: Lycium ferocissimum.  The Latin name ferocissimum means "extremely ferocious".
Common name: African Boxthorn or Boxthorn.

  This plant is poisonous
Visit http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/plants-toxic-if-eaten-by-man.html

Lycium ferocissimum is a shrub in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). The species is native to Cape Province and Orange Free State in South Africa and has become naturalised in Australia and New Zealand in 1897

Boxthorn is assessed at “1” on the infestation curve.

African Boxthorn is a large densely-branched, erect, woody, evergreen perennial shrub which grows up to 5 metres high and is covered in spines. The leaves are green, oval in shape and are 10 to 40 mm long and 4 to 10 mm in width. The solitary flowers emerge from the leaf axils. The flowers are white or pale mauve and are followed by 10 millimetre wide orange-red berries. Flowering occurs July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February and March. The berries are produced freely and distributed by birds but can be poisonous. It has strong spines at the tips of the branches.

The plant has been used for hedges and shelter in coastal areas, as it tolerates salt-spray and trimming. It is a very common hedge on farms in South Taranaki.

Boxthorn invades sand dunes and coastal environments and can exclude all other species. It forms dense, thorny barriers which harbour vermin. The leaves are suspected to be poisonous, and the extremely sharp, stiff and numerous spines can injure stock and people. Boxthorn provides a threat to extensively managed land and waste spaces, especially where rainfall is light. It is capable of invading both production land and indigenous shrubland.

Boxthorn was once an icon of Taranaki.
Read its history   "Prickles and all - Taranaki Boxthorn"   http://www.pukeariki.com/Research/TaranakiStories/TaranakiStory/id/482/title/prickles-and-all-taranaki-boxthorn.aspx   

  

 









The ripe orange berry of Lycium ferocissimum




The very sharp thorns of Lycium ferocissimum.


The oval leaves of Lycium ferocissimum.
  

 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/