Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Carissa bispinosa (L.) Desf. ex Brenan.

Frost-tender, spiny shrub, the spines to 3cm long and usually forked, with box-like leaves and small, white, sweetly-scented flowers in summer, followed by red berries.  To 1.5m.  [RHSD, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1760.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

Although first appearing in the catalogues in 1850 [T.67/1850], it was recorded as received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831.  [MP A2948].  Almost certainly introduced to assess its value as a hedging species. 


Arduina bispinosa Lodd. (1819) = Carissa ferox A.DC.  ‘It has long been cultivated in this country, and forms a pretty, dwarf, greenhouse plant.  The blossoms, which are frequent, remain a long time, usually commencing towards the latter part of the summer.’  [LBC no.387/1819].  This could be the plant grown by Macarthur. 

Published Jan 16, 2009 - 11:27 AM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 11:47 AM

Family Apocynaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Arduina bispinosa L.
  • Carissa arduina Lam. 
Common Name

Hedge thorn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Arduina bispinosa 

Confidence level medium