Lycium ferocissimum Miers African Boxthorn
Ann.Mag.Nat.Hist. Ser. 2, 14:187-188 (1854)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Tuesday 23 April 1996

Intricately branched, spiny shrub, 0.5-2.5(-4) m high. Fl. white-purple-blue, Apr to May or Aug to Dec. Waste grounds.

Distribution

Beard’s Provinces: Eremaean Province, South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Gascoyne, Geraldton Sandplains, Hampton, Mallee, Nullarbor, Swan Coastal Plain.

IBRA Subregions: Augustus, Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Central band, Nullarbor Plain, Eastern Goldfield, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Hampton, Lesueur Sandplain, Perth, Recherche, Western Mallee, Wooramel.

IMCRA Regions: Abrolhos Islands, Central West Coast, Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Beverley, Carnamah, Carnarvon, Cockburn, Cunderdin, Dundas, Esperance, Fremantle, Greater Geraldton, Irwin, Jerramungup, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kulin, Mingenew, Murchison, Nedlands, Northampton, Perth, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham, Shark Bay, Tammin, York.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 8 September 2016

General Biology. Growth form. Shrub. Reproduction. Seed, root suckers, stem fragments (rarely). Dispersal. Birds, mammals, water, skinks, garden refuse, soil movement. Time to first flowering. 2 years. Toxicity. Berries, leaves, stems and roots are toxic to humans and livestock. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts, produces root suckers, stem layering. Seedbank persistence. Probably short, days-1 year. Fire response. Probably resprouts after fire.

Notes. Seriously disprupts seal, sea lion and short-tailed shearwater breeding on off shore Islands. Broken stem and root pieces can remain alive for several months before flowering, fruiting or taking root. Disturbance results in mass seed germination within one year.

Additional information. Origin. South Africa. History of use/introduction. Garden escape. Similar native species. Lycium australe.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull or dig out small seedlings ensuring removal of all roots. For mature plants cut and paint with 50% glyphosate and follow up treatment on regrowth or apply 250 ml Access® in 15 L of diesel to basal 50 cm of stem (basal bark). Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Flowering Y Y O O O O O O Y Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y O O O O O O Y Y Y Y  
Germination Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Active Growth     Y Y Y O O O Y Y Y    
Optimum Treatment O O Y Y Y O O O Y Y Y O  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.

 

References

  • Benson, D. & von Richter, L. (2008) Lycium ferocissimum, Ecology of the Cumberland Plain Woodland. Department of Environment and Climate Change, NSW URL: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/science/hot_science_topics/Ecology_of_Cumberland_Plain_Woodland/woodland_plants/lycium_ferocissimum - Accessed June 2009.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • CRC Weed Management (2007) Weed Management Guide. African boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum). Department of Environment and Heritage URL: http://www.weeds.org.au/WoNS/africanboxthorn/docs/ - Accessed August 2013.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Moore, C.B. & Moore, J.H. (2002) Herbiguide, the pesticide expert on a disk. Herbiguide, PO Box 44 Albany, Western Australia, 6330.
  • Moore, J.H. & Wheeler, J. (2008) Southern weeds and their control. DAFWA Bulletin 4744.
  • Muyt, A. (2001) Bush invaders of South-East Australia: A guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South-East Australia. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Navie, S. & Adkins, S. (2008) Environmental Weeds of Australia, An interactive identification and information resource for over 1000 invasive plants. Centre for Biological Information Technology, The University of Queensland.
  • Parsons, W.T. & Cuthbertson, E.G. (2001) Noxious weeds of Australia. 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  • Shepherd, R.C.H. (2004) Pretty but Poisonous. Plants Poisonous to People. An llustrated Guide for Australia. R.G. and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Williamson, R. [updated by Faithfull, I.] (1998) Information notes. Boxthorn. Keith Turnbull Research Institute, Frankston. URL: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/notes/ - Accessed December 2007.

Project information and acknowledgements