BOX­THORN

NZ Lifestyle Block - - A Country Life -

THIS IS A VERY DENSE, ever­green shrub, up to 6m tall and its very tough, woody stems branch at square an­gles, form­ing a ‘box’ pat­tern. It has spines, just over 1cm long. • from July to March it pro­duces quite pretty white to pale mauve flow­ers (10-13mm across) which clus­ter along its stems. • it’s in­cred­i­bly hardy, tol­er­at­ing a wide va­ri­ety of soil types, in­clud­ing sand and rocky cliffs, plus it will live through drought, wind, and hot and cold tem­per­a­tures. • it’s poi­sonous, although for­tu­nately it’s not usu­ally grazed, but its berries can poi­son birds, and se­abirds can be­come en­tan­gled in it and die. • it’s very ag­gres­sive, tak­ing over other vege­ta­tion and out-com­pet­ing it, and it lives a long time.

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