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Hyperacanthus amoenus


Water Needs

low; moderate

Hyperacanthus amoenus
Shrub medium; Shrub large
Spiny Gardenia

1 - 8 m


Light Conditions

sun; semi-shade




white-pink; November - March; spring; summer; autumn

Garden Situation

sun; semi-shade; container; feature plant; small area tree; security; shrubbery; cliff; afternoon sun; rockery gravel; wildlife bees insects


woodland forest; Coastal Eastern Cape; Coastal KZN; rocky places


Subtropical East Coast; Thicket

Rain Season


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A past member of the Gardenia family, the Spiny Gardenia bares a strong resemblance to the fragrant and popular genus. This lesser-known species has a strong form – multi-stemmed with rigid lateral branches covered in strong, fierce spines. Flowers are outstanding; trumpet-shaped, sweetly fragranced, white inside and outer petals tinged pink. They’re smaller than those of the Gardenias, with fewer petals. Small oval, yellow fruits ripen to black and profuse fruiting displays bring in birds and monkeys to feast. The Spiny Gardenia is drought hardy and copes with a moderate frost. Stand-alone plants grow upright and slender; as part of a dense shrubbery, it may send out rambling stems. The glossy dark green foliage often carries new leaves with a blush of red at the tips. An attractive, architectural shrub with branches growing at right angles to the trunk. Flowering begins at 3 years. Growth rate is moderate, around 50 cm / year. Image by Andrea Abbott

Hyperacanthus amoenus
Hyperacanthus amoenus
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