Colletia paradoxa

Common name:   Family: Rhamnaceae
Author: (Spreng.)Escalente. Botanical references: 11, 200
Synonyms: Colletia cruciata (Gill.&Hook.)
Known Hazards: None known
Range: S. America – Argentina, Chile.
Habitat: Not known
Edibility Rating (1-5): 0 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 0
Epithets: From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
paradoxa = unusual;
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Rhamnales. Buckthorn family

Physical Characteristics

A decidious shrub growing to 3m by 5m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from September to October. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. We rate it 0/5 for edibility and 0/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained 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

None known

Other Uses


Wood. Used for house construction, agricultural implements and wagons


Cultivation details

Grows well in a sandy freely draining loam11 . Succeeds in dry soils11. Plants tolerate partial shade if they are grown in a perfectly draining lean soil200. A very ornamental plant1, it is not very hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors only in the milder areas of the country and tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c200. It succeeds outdoors at Kew but is shy to flower there11. It only flowers well after very hot summers11, 200. The plants do not have leaves, but they have very sharp spines which are used instead of the leaves in the function of photosynthesis188. The flowers are fragrant188. 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.


Flowers: Fresh
The flowers are sweetly scented.