Gymnosporia harveyana

Gymnosporia harveyana


Common Names

Black Forest Spike-thorn (english)


Genus Gymnosporia
Species harveyana
SA Plant Number 399.2
Basionym Gymnosporia harveyana


Gymnosporia harveyana is a hardy, evergreen, spiny shrub that is densely leafy and has long, slender, straight spines. The beautiful, glossy, dark-green foliage is a distinctive feature of this plant.

From October to May it bears clusters of small, white flowers that attract insects. These are followed by white berries on slender stalks. From November to June the berries turn ruby-red and adorn the tree. When these split, birds are attracted to the food source.

As it is either in flower or fruit all year round it is a great addition to a wildlife garden.

It has many uses – it can be pruned to form a small tree, trimmed into a formal hedge, left as an informal hedge or planted in a security barrier. It also makes a beautiful container and accent plant.

This stunning plant grows in deep or filtered shade. Plant in shade to semi-shade, in compost-rich, well-drained soil and give it moderate water.

Size: 1 to 4m



Birds relish the fruit.



Gymnosporia harveyana has many uses in landscaping:

  • prune to form a small tree
  • trim into a formal hedge or leave as an informal hedge
  • plant in a security barrier
  • makes a beautiful container and accent plant


Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga

Natural Habitat:

Evergreen Forest, Forest margin



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