Shrub to 2.5 m in most types of rainforest sometimes in sclerophyll forest north from Wollongong, NSW.

Leaves opposite in whorls of 3-6, narrow-lanceolate to broad-ovate, smooth, leathery, glossy, margins slightly recurved.

Flowers white, fragrant, in terminal heads, five petals and five sepals.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Habit

Alyxia is an Australasian genus with 106 species from the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae). It consists of shrubs, climbers or scramblers (a plant with long stems, often with thorns to help it support itself as it climbs through shrubs).

There are 14 species in Australia, 21 in New Caledonia and 7 in the other Pacific Islands, including Hawaii.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Foliage, immature fruit

Alyxia ruscifolia (Chain Fruit) is very common on dry hillsides where euc sclerophyll merges with dry rainforest habitat.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Foliage and fruit

Fruit of 1–3 more or less globose articles, 8–11 mm in diameter, orange to red.

Alyxia ruscifolia is a drought tolerant, spiky plant worthy of planting in the Greater Brisbane as a Lantana substitute. It could be a useful hedge plant, if somewhat slow growing.

Photo: Robert Whyte