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.