An early-flowering species discovered in South America in 1835 by Charles Darwin, this is one of the best flowering evergreens. The dense thicket of stems growing from ground level make a substantial border shrub as well as an effective hedge, reinforced by its thorniness, which makes it useful for security. In addition, orange flowers are carried in spring, and small purple-black berries in autumn. It is equally impressive grown in full sun or partial shade, against a wall or in an exposed position. Clip fairly hard in spring to limit the size. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Evergreen shrub
Flower colour: Orange
Foliage colour: Dark green
Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant seeds: October to December
Time to take cuttings: May to July
Flowering period: April to May
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