I was quite taken when I saw these well clipped Orange Thorn a few weeks back in the edible section at Mount Anan Botanic Gardens, this section of the garden is kept quite manicured, bringing out the ornamental potential of all of the local Bush Food plants. And lets face it, I am a sucker for anything pruned into a sphere.
Citriobatus pauciflorus also comes under the common name of ‘Orange Thorn’ which is quite apt, it is a spiny shrub approximately 2-3high x 1-2wide, so spiky that you need gloves to pick the friut. I have noticed it being planted in bush regeneration sites around Wollongong and have been wondering what it is for some time. Needless to say it is not a particularly attractive plant left un-cared for, great for a real habitat garden as it is a host plant for the Dull Copper Butterfly.
I did taste the fruit and I can’t say it was delicious, in fact I had to spit it out, shame, shame…..maybe it wasn’t ripe I’m not sure. So my pointer for this one would be to clip it hard like these images, use it to screen or keep out unwanted visitors in your garden. It grows well in shade to full sun and does have a habit of suckering so be careful.