Grows to 2 feet tall and spreads rapidly via underground runners. Peak season of bloom is late winter and early spring with clusters of fragrant white to creamy yellow flowers. Cluster of bright red berries follows the flowers in fall and remain through winter, providing both beautiful color and welcomed winter food for birds. Plant in full sun to part shade. Regular water is usually sufficient but will benefit from more in hotter climates. Maintenance-free growth habits make Crossopetalum ilicifolium an excellent choice for a low-growing ground cover.
This is a popular specimen for xeriscaping applications, making it an excellent choice for dry areas that receive only limited moisture. Crossopetalum ilicifolium will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden due to its attractive, fragrant flowers. It can also act as a living fence or trellis due to its prickly, thorny or spiny stem. It will reach a height of 2-5 feet over time, and its runners will spread to create a low-growing groundcover.
Crossopetalum ilicifolium is adaptable to a wide range of soils and can tolerate drought quite well, but it will perform better with regular water. When grown in pots, it should be allowed to dry out almost completely before the next watering. Alternatively, it can be grown in part shade, making it a good choice for areas that receive too much direct sunlight.
This plant does best in warmer climates and can grow in USDA Zones 9-11. For those living in colder regions, it can be grown in pots and brought indoors during cold periods. In this case, the pot should be placed in a cool spot with bright indirect light, and the soil should be kept slightly moist. Fertilizing the plant once in a while will help to keep it healthy.