Lycium ferocissimum Miers

African Box-thorn

Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 2, 14: 187 (1854) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Intricately branched shrub to 4 m high, more or less glabrous; main branches rigid, lateral branches leafy, ending in a stout spine. Leaves usually clustered, mostly obovate, 10–40 mm long, 4–10 mm wide, apex obtuse or rounded, base attenuate into a short petiole, margins entire, slightly fleshy, green. Flowers usually solitary in axils; pedicels 5–16 mm long; calyx more or less tubular, 4–7 mm long, lobes triangular, 1–2 mm long; fruiting calyx often 2-lipped; corolla 10–12 mm long, pale lilac or white, often blotched lilac towards base of lobes, lobes sub-orbicular; stamens 5, exserted by 2–4 mm, anthers 1–1.5 mm long; pistil c. 10 mm long. Berry more or less globose, 5–12 mm long, orange-red; seeds 35–70, c. 2.5 mm long, dull yellow. Flowers mainly spring and summer.

*Brid, *CVU, *DunT, *EGL, *EGU, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *GGr, *HNF, *HSF, *LoM, *MuF, *MuM, *MSB, *NIS, *OtP, *RobP, *Strz, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Naturalized in all States, New Zealand. Native to South Africa. Widespread throughout much of Victoria, often in urban wasteland as well as agricultural and pastoral regions. Formerly used as a hedge plant; now declared a noxious weed.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Solanaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-06-14
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Solanales
family Solanaceae
genus Lycium
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Lycium ferocissimum in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Lycium ferocissimum in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Lowan Mallee present naturalised
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Glenelg Plain present introduced
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Murray Scroll Belt present naturalised
Robinvale Plains present naturalised
Murray Fans present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Greater Grampians present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory