Friday, June 5, 2009

Prickly Lixy

Alyxia ruscifolia
I photographed these little “chain fruits” at Birdwood Sanctuary Estate last weekend. The plant was hidden deep in the scrub, so it didn’t show its potential - which it certainly has - as a very good hedging plant.
Its leaves are like little daggers. This is a plant which would definitely help keep intruders out, if used as a hedge in a garden. It also helps keep predators away from little birds, so is a good choice for a bird-friendly garden.

Its white flowers, which appear for a long period in spring, have an outstandingly lovely perfume.
It’s hardy to both drought and frost, and will grow in full sun or deep shade.


Mick said...

Hello Trish

There is a black fruiting variation of this plant that grows on the side of the road near my place. I have germinated one seed. I suppose I will know in a few yeasr if it will also produce black fruit. Fingers crossed.


Patricia Gardner said...

Black. Now that's interesting. I wonder if they grow faster for you than they do for us up here, where they're dreadfully slow.
The chainfruit flowers are so good this year that I'll have to post a few more photos in July, I think.

Anonymous said...

never heard of a black one. maybe the red/orange fruit have just turned black with age. please post a photo.

Patricia Gardner said...

Hi Gabby.
No, the black one was new to me, too, but my informant is definitely not the kind of person to make a mistake like that. He was going to plant seeds to see if it will come true. I'll ask him whether they came up, but it could be some years to wait for a result.

Patricia Gardner said...

Hi again, Gabby.
I checked with Mick about the black-fruiting Alyxia, and he pointed out that there is a photo of it in that excellent book, Mangroves to Mountains. He says that of the seedlings raised from the black-fruiting bush, the ones that are mature enough to fruit have produced normal orange fruit. There may be more news to come, of the seedlings, but at present it looks as though the only way to have a black-fruiting one is to get a cutting-grown one.