Bursaria lasiophylla E.M.Benn.
Bursaria longisepala pilosa E.M.Benn.
Bursaria pantonii Guilf.
Cyrilla spinosa Spreng.
Common Name: Christmas Bush
Bursaria spinosa is an erect, prickly evergreen shrub to small tree, usually growing 3 - 4 metres tall but occasionally reaching up to 10 metres[
]. The bole is usually less than 20cm in diameter[
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.
Australia - Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland
Forests and open places, but avoiding arid areas[
], in loamy soils, stony hills and on riverbanks[
], probably at its best near the coast[
]. Dry to wet sclerophyll forest, often on non-siliceous soils; sometimes a weed on cleared land[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
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[
]. Mean annual rainfall can range from 250 - 2,700mm[
]. It is said to be able to tolerate occasional temperatures falling as low as -7°c[
]. Plants can be grown against a warm sunny wall in cooler areas, succeeding where frosts are light and short lived[
Requires a well-drained moisture retentive soil in full sun[
]. Prefers a soil of light to medium texture[
]. Tolerates a pH in the range 6.5 - 7.5[
]. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant[
A good bee plant[
], the flowers are sweetly fragrant[
Plants can be trimmed back hard into the old wood, or even cut down to ground level and will resprout freely[
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[
Plants respond well to trimming and are moderately wind-resistant - they can be grown as a hedge in mild climates[
Plants are aggressive colonisers of marginal or disturbed sites. They produce rhizomes and can rapidly regenerate when cut down by fire or other events[
]. They can be used as pioneer plants when restoring ative woodland[
The plant's extensive root system gives it an excellent potential for use in erosion control - especially on sandy sites[
Leaves contain the coumarin 'aesculin' which is used in the treatment of lupus by irradiation and as an ultraviolet radiation screen in suntan lotions[
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[
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[
]. They require a little bottom heat if they are to root well[