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Bursaria spinosa Cav.

Modern name

Bursaria spinosa Cav.

An evergreen, glabrous shrub 8 to 15 ft high, with both spiny and unarmed branches. Leaves alternate, obovate, 34 to 112 in. long, 316 to 38 in. wide; notched or rounded at the apex, tapering towards the base, but scarcely stalked. Flowers produced in panicles that terminate the twigs towards the end of the branch, and vary in size according to the strength of the shoot that bears them, the largest 5 or 6 in. high by 3 to 4 in. through; each flower is about 14 in. across, with narrow, white petals. Although the individual flower is so small, the entire bush makes a pretty display when in bloom, on account of its profusion. The fruit is a dry, flat, pouch-like capsule about 13 in. across, reddish brown, resembling in shape that of common shepherd’s purse. Bot. Mag., t. 1767.

Native of New South Wales and Tasmania, and only suitable for the milder parts of the British Isles. In the vicarage garden at Bitton, near Bristol, it grew exceedingly well against a wall, flowering during August, when but few other shrubs are in bloom. The great crop of reddish fruits is also decidedly striking. This shrub can be increased by cuttings made of half-ripened wood placed in gentle heat. Flowers fragrant.



Other species in the genus

[No species article available]