Christ’s thorn

Ziziphus spina-christi
Shrub
Alternate
Simple
Yellow
Green

Christ's thorn is a spiny shrub that can out-compete native vegetation and dominate grazing land. It has not yet been recorded in Queensland.

Christ's thorn is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Common names 
Also known as: Christ’s thorn,
Family 
Rhamnaceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Spring to summer
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
Native to northern and tropical Africa and southern and western Asia
Notifiable 
Yes
State declaration 
Category 1
Council declaration 
As per State Declaration
Known distribution 

Not yet recorded in Queensland.

Habitat 

Found in areas of low rainfall. Capable of growing in desert or semi-desert where soils are often silty.

Habit 

Spiny shrub 3-10m tall.

Forms dense thickets, displacing native vegetation. Dominates grazing land in arid/semi-arid areas.

Stem and leaves 

Leaves are alternate, oval, more pointed at tips. Short spines are positioned in pairs along branches. Bark is whitish-brown or pale grey, cracked with a twisted trunk.

Flowers and fruits 

Flowers are small, greenish-yellow. Fruits are 1cm in diameter, red-brown, with stone in centre.

Reproduction and dispersal 

Propagates from seeds held in woody capsules.