Alternative common names:
The Formosa firethorn is an evergreen shrub with spiny branches and glossy green leaves. White flowers appear in spring, followed by bright red berries. It can form dense thickets, which compete with indigenous vegetation and impede the movement of animals and people.
Where does this species come from?South China, Asia Minor and Europe.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?NEMBA Category 1b.
Where in South Africa is it a problem?Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
How does it spread?It spreads via bird-dispersed berries or water.
Why is it a problem?
It competes with and replaces indigenous species.
What does it look like?
Leaves: Leaves are glossy and green above, with the undersides sparsely hairy when young. The margin is slightly scalloped, and the leaf blades at their widest below the middle.
Flowers: Flowers are white with the calyx slightly down. The flowers appear in spring.
Fruit/seeds: Fruits are bright red berries.
Does the plant have any uses?