The original Post
In a corner of our property, an area which has been slightly disturbed by small-scale mining in the 1800’s, I found a waist-high shrub with white flowers and thorns – Bursaria (native) or Boxthorn (Exotic) I wondered. It turned out to be Boxthorn, an introduced species which has the potential to become a weed. So, it had to be removed. Pity, as it was quite pretty in single shrub form. I don’t think I would want to try to walk through a thicket of it though. Those thorns look really nasty.
We’re lucky that the weedy exotic species are concentrated at the opposite end of the property than our bushland. I hope to keep it that way.
Mel (see comment below) has informed me that it is Bursaria.
Unfortunately the plant has been removed. We are keen to ensure that the bushland isn’t destroyed by exotic plants. However, I will endeavour to replace it.
5 thoughts on “Boxthorn (Exotic) or Bursaria (Native)”
That plant is definitely Bursaria, a genus in the Pittosporum family, which I have growing on my own acreage. To my eyes it looks almost nothing like Boxthorn, which is a South African plant in the Solanaceae family that produces fruit and flowers that are similar to those found on the native kangaroo apples (Solanum spp.). Occasionally I have cleared Boxthorn in reveg works. Bursaria is an important summer flowering plant for both birds and insects, so it is a shame that you’ve chosen to remove it. However I must admit I made many plant identification mistakes in my early reveg days!!! We live and learn.
Thanks for letting me know. If it is Bursaria, then I’m very sorry to have removed it. You are right in that not a lot flowers in Summer. There was only one plant growing and it only had this one flower-head. I did ask a few locals and they confirmed it was Boxthorn – maybe they were not familiar with Bursaria either. I will seek out some Bursaria from a native plant nursery and plant a few in that corner of the property, as it is near an area which has a lot of bird life. Thanks again for letting me know.
Not sure if my previous comment made it thru. That plant is certainly Bursaria, which I have own my own acreage.
In my early days I showed a branch of a suspect looking plant to some neighbours who’d lived on their block for 35 years and they assured me it was the exotic weed Gorse. It actually turned out to be the native Gorse Bitter Pea (Daviesia ulicifolia). Also local landcare groups have also been guilty of clearing the native raspberry which they had mistaken for the introduced blackberry.
These days when I am in doubt about a plant I take a picture or show local experts and inflorescence sample. Anyway best of luck with your Bursaria plantings. I hope you show us the photos on this inspirational blog in years to come!
Thanks! And if I find some Bursaria at local nurseries, I will post photos of the newly planted shrubs. Thanks for commenting on this. 🙂