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.

Lycium ferocissimum Miers

Tall shrub with rigid, spiny branches, obovate leaves, whitish flowers and orange-red berries.  To 4m.  [FNSW, Beadle].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Lycium is a genus of about 100 species of sometimes spiny, deciduous and evergreen shrubs with funnel-shaped or tubular flowers. Some species make good windbreaks or hedges. Lycium ferocissimum Miers, L. barboreum L. and L. chinense Mill. have been particularly used for this purpose.

History at Camden Park

Although not listed in the catalogues until 1850 [T.653/1850] Box thorn was presented to the Sydney Botanic Garden by John Macarthur, probably around 1823 [RBGS AB].  It was almost certainly introduced to Camden soon after this.  John was very interested in hedging species and this is most probably the reason for its introduction.  He obtained his material from Bombay.  This plant is now a declared noxious weed for the whole of NewSouth Wales and a major weed in the Camden area.  


Published Feb 27, 2010 - 05:06 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2010 - 04:22 PM

Family Solanaceae
Region of origin

South Africa

  • Lycium campanulatum E.Meyer
  • Lycium chinense J.M.Black
  • Lycium macrocalyx Domin
Common Name

African Box thorn

Name in the Camden Park Record

Lycium sp. 

Confidence level medium