Plant of the month: November
Colletia paradoxa is a member of the Rhamnaceae family and can be found in the Pinetum.
It is a slow growing plant that will eventually reach 3 metres in height. A deciduous shrub it has a few small leaves but is clothed with vicious thorns which are formed from flattened branchlets and usually in threes.
In autumn it is smothered in small white heather-like flowers that have a lovely scent, just watch out for the thorns!
Colletia prefer growing in sheltered spots with full sun and are not fussy about soil type or pH. They require no special pruning, but young plants can be pruned to promote bushiness.
They could make an alternative to Berberis as a hedging plant, if the site was sheltered.