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Alyxia ruscifolia (APOCYNACEAE) Chain Fruit

Foliage and flowers

Alyxia
Photo: Robert Whyte

Shrub to 2.5 m in most types of rainforest sometimes in sclerophyll forest north from Wollongong, NSW.

Leaves opposite in whorls of 3-6, narrow-lanceolate to broad-ovate, smooth, leathery, glossy, margins slightly recurved.

Flowers white, fragrant, in terminal heads, five petals and five sepals.

Habit


alyxia
Photo: Robert Whyte

Alyxia is an Australasian genus with 106 species from the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae). It consists of shrubs, climbers or scramblers (a plant with long stems, often with thorns to help it support itself as it climbs through shrubs).

There are 14 species in Australia, 21 in New Caledonia and 7 in the other Pacific Islands, including Hawaii.

Foliage, immature fruit


alyxia
Photo: Robert Whyte

Alyxia ruscifolia (Chain Fruit) is very common on dry hillsides where euc sclerophyll merges with dry rainforest habitat.

Foliage and fruit


Alyxia
Photo: Robert Whyte

Fruit of 13 more or less globose articles, 811 mm in diameter, orange to red.

Alyxia ruscifolia is a drought tolerant, spiky plant worthy of planting in the Greater Brisbane as a Lantana substitute. It could be a useful hedge plant, if somewhat slow growing.