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.


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 11 April 2019

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.



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Project information and acknowledgements