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Useful Tropical Plants

Bursaria spinosa

Cav.

Pittosporaceae

+ Synonyms

Bursaria lasiophylla E.M.Benn.

Bursaria longisepala pilosa E.M.Benn.

Bursaria pantonii Guilf.

Cyrilla spinosa Spreng.

Common Name: Christmas Bush

Bursaria spinosa
Flowering stem
Photograph by: Fagg M.; Australian National Botanic Gardens
Creative Commons License
Bursaria spinosa Bursaria spinosa Bursaria spinosa

General Information

Bursaria spinosa is an erect, prickly evergreen shrub to small tree, usually growing 3 - 4 metres tall but occasionally reaching up to 10 metres[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
]. The bole is usually less than 20cm in diameter[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It is harvested on a commercial basis as a source of aesculin, which is used in medicine. It readily invades open areas and so can be used as a pioneer species when restoring native woodland. The plant is also grown in gardens, where it can be used as a hedge.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
365
Title
Flora of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/floraonline.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource giving a brief botanical description of all the native plants of New South Wales, their habitat and range, together with diagrams and photographs of the plants.

Range

Australia - Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland

Habitat

Forests and open places, but avoiding arid areas[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
], in loamy soils, stony hills and on riverbanks[
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
], probably at its best near the coast[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
]. Dry to wet sclerophyll forest, often on non-siliceous soils; sometimes a weed on cleared land[
365
Title
Flora of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/floraonline.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource giving a brief botanical description of all the native plants of New South Wales, their habitat and range, together with diagrams and photographs of the plants.
].

Properties

Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height3.50 m
PollinatorsBees, Lepidoptera
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Bursaria spinosa is found mainly in the temperate to subtropical regions of eastern Australia, though it also extends into the tropics in Queensland. It grows in areas where the mean maximum temperature of the hottest month is within the range 17 - 33°c, whilst the mean minimum of the coldest month is -2 to 17°c[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
]. Mean annual rainfall can range from 250 - 2,700mm[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
]. It is said to be able to tolerate occasional temperatures falling as low as -7°c[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
,
182
Title
Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1992
ISBN
0-7195-5043-2
Description
Contains a wide range of plants with a brief description, mainly of their ornamental value but also usually of cultivation details and varieties.
]. Plants can be grown against a warm sunny wall in cooler areas, succeeding where frosts are light and short lived[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a soil of light to medium texture[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
]. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
]. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
].
A good bee plant[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
], the flowers are sweetly fragrant[
219
Title
Gardening on Walls
Publication
 
Author
Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1983
ISBN
0-00-219220-0
Description
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
,
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
Plants can be trimmed back hard into the old wood, or even cut down to ground level and will resprout freely[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

Skin. The leaves contain the coumarin 'aesculin' - this is used in the treatment of lupus by irradiation and as a screen from ultra-violet light in suntan lotions[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Plants respond well to trimming and are moderately wind-resistant - they can be grown as a hedge in mild climates[
167
Title
A Field Guide to Australian Trees.
Publication
 
Author
Holliday. I. and Hill. R.
Publisher
Frederick Muller Ltd.
Year
1974
ISBN
0-85179-627-3
Description
A well illustrated and very readable book, but it does not contain much information for the plant project.
,
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
].
Plants are aggressive colonisers of marginal or disturbed sites. They produce rhizomes and can rapidly regenerate when cut down by fire or other events[
397
Title
Australian Native Plants Society
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://anpsa.org.au/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of fact sheets on Australian plants. Good photographs, brief description and information on uses, habitat, range, cultivation etc.
]. They can be used as pioneer plants when restoring ative woodland[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
The plant's extensive root system gives it an excellent potential for use in erosion control - especially on sandy sites[
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
].

Other Uses

Leaves contain the coumarin 'aesculin' which is used in the treatment of lupus by irradiation and as an ultraviolet radiation screen in suntan lotions[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
].

The pale-coloured wood is tough, hard, close grained, easily worked and takes a good polish. The trunk is quite slender and so large pieces of the wood are uncommon. It is used for tool handles, cabinet making etc[
154
Title
Flora of Victoria.
Publication
 
Author
Ewart. A. J.
Publisher
University Press; Melbourne
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
A flora of eastern Australia, it is rather short on information that is useful to the plant project.
,
707
Title
Florabank Fact Sheets
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.florabank.org.au/lucid/key/Species%20Navigator/Media/Html/index.htm#D
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent on-line publication. At present their are 132 species in the list, giving lots of information on growing and using the plants, plus information on their climatic tolerances, distribution maps and photographs.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. It does not require pre-treatment. When large enough to handle, prick the plants out into individual pots. Grow on the young plants for at least the first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Consider giving the plants some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
219
Title
Gardening on Walls
Publication
 
Author
Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1983
ISBN
0-00-219220-0
Description
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
]. They require a little bottom heat if they are to root well[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Bursaria+spinosa>

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