Wikstroemia indica (THYMELAECEAE) Bushman’s Bootlace, Tie Bush

Plants to Plant

Small tree or shrub, mostly to 1.5 m high widespread common on rocky, dry hillsides and edges of rainforest. Stems hairless (smooth) or sparsely hairy on juveniles and new growth, later smooth and shiny. Leaves to 6 cm, hairless, upper surface dark green and glossy, lower surface glaucous (ashy) and dull, petiole (leaf stalk) 1-2 mm. The tough stringy bark is a rough and ready string if torn off in thin strips, hence the name Tie Bush. Also known as Bush Bootlace.

Photo: Robert Whyte


Pale green to cream flower heads with 1-4 flowers each.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Fruit Close-up

Fruit a succulent, bright, egg-shaped red or orange berry. Fruit and leaves toxic if eaten.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Medical Use

Studies of chemicals in Wikstroemia have suggested it contains chemicals that may prove useful in cancer research.
Tubestock. Photo: Robert Whyte