This medium open shrub to 2–4 m is found naturally along the edge of our local rainforests and moister eucalypt forests. The foliage provides vital nesting habitat for our local birds and a safe refuge for other creatures, so is a good replacement for Lantana.
The Chain Fruit has stiff, glossy deep green leaves tapering to a sharp point, often in whorls around the branchlets. The strongly perfumed 5-petalled flowers are borne in winter and spring. These are followed by striking orange round berries that usually form chains of 3–5.
This is a hardy shrub that will tolerate most soils. It grows best in full sun (where it becomes a denser bush) or in semi shade. The wonderful fragrance of the flowers adds a new dimension to any garden and the unusual fruits, which are held on the plant for long periods, are a distinctive feature. Although the Chain Fruit does not have thorns, the foliage is quite prickly, so this shrub is best planted a little away from pathways.
Specimens can be seen at the Samford EcoCorridor (https://www.facebook.com/EcoCorridor).
Article and photos © Peter Storer