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Christmas berry

Chironia baccifera

Aambeibossie, Bitterbossie (Afr.)

The common name, Christmas berry comes from the attractive red berries that ripen at Christmas time. The Afrikaans name aambeibessie refers to its use as a remedy for piles. In nature the plants are usually found in dry, sandy soil or sand dunes, growing in the shade of other plants. In gardens this fast-growing, ornamental shrub looks stunning when planted in groups as a hedge, in rockeries or as a border along the front edge of a flowerbed.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

Harvest for medicinal when needed.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seed in spring in a tray filled three quarters with soil, lightly compacted and cover with a thin layer of soil, water well. Treat seedlings with a liquid fertilizer.

Geography

Origin
Africa, South Africa, coastal belt from Kwazulu Natal to the Western Cape
Natural climate
Dry sandy slopes along the coastline.

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Medicinal
The Botanical name is from the Chiron, the Greek god studying medicine and arts. Tinctures and infusions is used in traditinal Khoi treatment of ulchers, piles and diabetes. It cures infections like bladder, kidney and artritis.

Personality

Family
Gentianaceae
Flower colour
Pink
Scent
None

Problems

Generally problem free.

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