Colletia ferox

Common name:   Family: Rhamnaceae
Author: Gill.&Hook. Botanical references:  
Known Hazards: None known
Range: S. America.
Habitat: Not known
Edibility Rating (1-5): 0 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 1
Epithets: From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
ferox = fierce (spiny);
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Rhamnales. Buckthorn family

Physical Characteristics

A decidious shrub. . The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs). We rate it 0/5 for edibility and 1/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Woodland, Sunny Edge, Dappled Shade.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses




Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Grows well in a sandy freely draining loam where it flowers freely in a sunny position11. Succeeds in dry soils11. Plants tolerate partial shade if they are grown in a perfectly draining lean soil200. The plants do not have leaves, but they have very sharp spines which are used instead of the leaves in the function of photosynthesis188. A very slow growing plant75.


Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing fresh seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse and stored seed as early in the year as it is received. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe side shoots, 5 – 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame200. Cuttings of mature side shoots of the current year’s growth, 10 – 12cm with a heel, early winter in a cold frame. Leave for 18 months before potting up. Good percentage78.