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Bursaria spinosa



APPRECIATING PLANTS

Bursaria spinosa or Sweet Bursaria

Our bush looks very dry and unattractive, but luckily, we suddenly see a gleaming shrub covered in masses of fragrant creamy flowers.

From the species name, spinosa, we know it will be prickly, and from the Bursaria labeling we know there will be a mass of brown, purse-like capsules that hold the seeds after a summer flowering.  

Bursaria is widespread and is a sturdy shrub which can re-sprout from the woody base after a bushfire. In Tasmania it is known as Tasmanian Christmas tree.

Of great interest is the complex symbiotic relationship formed with the Eltham copper butterfly and the ants on Bursaria spinosa. The butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves and the caterpillars feed on the leaves before pupating in the soil at the foot of the plant where the ants take over.  

They are a slow growing plant but it is well worth your while putting some into your garden later this year.

Bursaria spinosa

common brown butterfly
Common Brown Butterfly