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Gardening with Indigenous Plants
Indigenous Plant Use
Identification & Control of Common Weeds
Botanical Name:Bursaria spinosa
synonym:   Bursaria spinosa var. normalis
Common Name:blackthorn , boxthorn , kurwan (d'harawal) , sweet bursaria , tupy
Sold As:Tube ($2.00)
Tall Shrub (2 to 6 m), Bee Attracting, Bird Attracting, Butterfly Attracting, Insect Attracting
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Dry, Well Drained
6 m x 3 m
Foliage:Shiny narrow dark green leaves to 2.5cm long x 1cm wide. Smaller leafed in drier sites and larger leafed and often spineless in moist sites.
Flowers:Fragrant creamy-white flowers, clustered at the end of branches from December to March. Bronze seed capsules follow after flowering.

Slender to rounded shrub or small tree with prickly spines along branches. Prune when young to encourage a bushy growth. Drought, frost, snow and lime tolerant.

Its thorny habit provides a good refuge for birds.

From LA TROBE UNIVERSITY (Nangak Tamboree Wildlife Sanctuary):

Sweet Bursaria has a close, symbiotic relationship with the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly (Paralucia pyrodiscus lucida) and ants from the genus Notoncus.

Adult butterflies lay their eggs on the roots and stems of Sweet Bursaria. The ants guard the caterpillars (providing protection from predators) ushering the larvae to and from the ant nest at the base of the plant to feed on the leaves at night.

In return, the caterpillars excrete a sugary substance which the ants feed on.

  1. Whitehorse Council
  2. Australian Native Plants Society
  3. Yarra Ranges Council (Victora, close to us)
  4. Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (VICFLORA, technical, good photos)
  5. Wikipedia (free online encyclopedia)
  6. Australian National Botanic Garden
  7. Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew UK, technical)

Click the following thumbnails to open them in gallery view (generally enlarging them)

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