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Rhamnus prinoides


Water Needs

moderate; high

Rhamnus prinoides
Shrub medium; Shrub large
Blinkblaar; Dog Rose

3 - 4 m


Light Conditions

shade; semi-shade




green-cream; November - January; spring summer

Garden Situation

wildlife birds honeybees butterflies; light shade; shade; dry shade; screen; container; shrubbery; fast-growing easy-care


woodland forest; grassland;


subtropical east coast; highveld

Rain Season


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What a beautiful neat shrub for the garden. The Afrikaans common name, blinkblaar, rather than the English of Dog rose, describes it best. The small serrated leaves are incredibly glossy making it a gleaming focal point where it catches the sunlight all year round. So even when not in flower and fruit this is a lovely shrub to use where it can often be seen, or as part of a wildlife friendly hedge. It is an evergreen shrub that make an excellent screen due to its bushy and compact growth habit. In the garden it tends to grow to 3 – 4 m while in its natural habitats it can take the shape of a small tree up to 6 m high. The blinkblaar has a wide distribution range covering both winter and summer rainfall regions, from the southern Cape up into KZN, the Free State and north into Mpumalanga, Gauteng and the Northern Province. Within these areas it favours mountain and wooded slopes, forests and stream banks, often around rock outcrops. It can also be found on the grassy slopes in these areas, making it a very versatile shrub for most areas of the garden. Description: the leaves are dark green, with a paler underside, and a high sheen level. New emerging leaves are also a light green, darkening as they age and are rather oblong or oval in shape, tapering to a sharp point. The margins are toothed with rather conspicuous veins which are covered in hairs. It is not for the flowers that this shrub is such a favourite; they are a rather unnoticeable greenish colour in small clusters in the axils of the leaves from November to January. They attract bees and other insects, and between December and June, they are followed by green fruits about the size of a pea and are clearly divided into 3 distinct compartments. As they ripen they turn a deep red then purple and are eaten by a wide variety of birds. In the garden: covering such a wide area of the country it is a tough, frost resistant shrub. It has a very neat growth habit and is a showy plant for even the smallest garden that will also attract a wide variety of creatures. It will grow in sun and shady situations, lovely enough as a feature shrub, or as part of a hedge in the exclusion area, or edging a path or driveway, or as a screen dividing your various garden rooms. Flowering as fruit-ing over the Christmas period, branches of the Dogwood can be used as the local version of the traditional Holly decoration! The roots of the Rhamnus are very good for erosion control along drainage lines or stream banks, although it has a non-aggressive root system. It is very effective as a hedge or screen plant and in areas with good rainfall will grow quickly. In dry areas though it will grow much slower if given no supplemental water.

Rhamnus prinoides
Rhamnus prinoides
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