Colletia_hystrix 2Crucifixion thorn is a deciduous large shrub or small tree native to Chili and Argentina where it grows in poor dry soils. It belongs to the buckthorn family ( Rhamnaceae ) which includes California lilac (Ceanothus ).The leaves are very small and sparse but gray-green spines 1 ½” long thickly cover the branches. In late summer to autumn small clusters of white to pink fragrant tubular flowers grow directly from the stems and are attractive to butterflies and bees. Because of its drought tolerance and ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, crucifixion thorn is a good choice for trouble spots with dry lean soil.

Type: Deciduous large shrub or small tree

Outstanding Feature: Sculptural quality; fragrant flowers

Form: Upright, spreading

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Small, tubular, fragrant flowers areproduced in clusters directly from the stem in late summer to autumn.

Size: 13’ H x 13’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Lean to fertile, well-drained, sandy

Hardiness: Zones 7-10

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Trouble free

Propagation: Semi-ripe cuttings of side shoots in late summer.

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By Karen