I couldn’t resist taking a photo of this plant, living up to its name. I crouched to take the picture, so as to show the nest clearly, but the result gives a poor impression of the size of the plant.
It is really not much higher than I am, with a puff of prickly foliage about 50cm diameter - quite large enough, however, to provide a perfect site for this little nest!
Grown in full sun, it forms a dense canopy to ground level. Trimmed or untrimmed, it is a plant which could be used for a hedgerow in the traditional English hawthorn style, sheltering wildlife as it makes a thorny barrier.It has sweetly-scented flowers in October, followed by yellow fruits which ripen to black.
Crushed between the fingers, the ripe fruits yield a fine, citrus-scented oil that makes an effective hand lotion.
This plant is very hardy to both drought and frost.