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Products > Colletia paradoxa
Colletia paradoxa - Anchor Plant

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorns)
Origin: South America
Flower Color: Cream
Bloomtime: Fall
Synonyms: [Colletia cruciata]
Height: 6-8 feet
Width: 8-12 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Summer Dry: Yes
Deer Tolerant: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Colletia paradoxa (Anchor Plant) - A wickedly-interesting nearly leafless shrub from Uruguay, western Argentina and southern Brazil that grows slowly to 6 to 9 feet tall with oppositely-arranged flattened 2 inch wide triangular spine-tipped gray-green photosynthetic stems (called cladodes) that resemble a ship's anchor. Small creamy-white lightly-fragrant flowers (said to smell like almonds) at the stem joints bloom in late summer or fall. New growth has small leaves that are present only briefly. Plant in full sun in a light to medium well-drained soil where it is drought tolerant. Can tolerate temperatures down to at least 20 F and some claim to as low as 0 F so long as the soil is kept dry. Prune occasionally to keep dense or contain size. Though it is best to plant this plant well away from pathways where one might find it dangerous, it is an unusually attractive and impressive barrier plant that nothing would dare go through. The genus name honors French botanist Philibert Collet (1643-1718). This species is synonymous with Colletia cruciata. Other common names include Crucifixion Thorn, Crucifix Thorn, Thorn of the Cross and Jet-Plane Plant.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We also try to incorporate comments received from others and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Colletia paradoxa.