Plant of the Month-Feb 2018


(Acrotriche patula)

(Photos: E. Cousins, growth habit, close up of leaves and berries)

This bush is one stiff little cookie! You wouldn’t want to fall into it because the branches are rigid and the hard little leaves all end in really sharp points. At Cape Jervis it grows as a rounded shrub, rarely more than knee-high. The leaves are about twice as long as they are broad, at about 16mm long and 8mm wide. It is quite an eye-catching shrub, though: the shiny upper sides of the leaves make the bush look a bit sparkly, and with that built-in rigidity, it never looks wilted even in the harsh summer conditions of Cape Jervis. In Spring, the shiny groundberries make their appearance after the pale greenish flowers. The berries are bright red and fleshy, each encasing a hard brown seed.  Maybe a pretty pincushion for your garden???