This year has been particularly good for Japanese spindle berries at the Madeira Drive green wall. Who knows why?
While we ponder that, here are some facts about this amazing plant.
- Seeds are propogated by birds
- It depends on bees, flies and hoverflies to pollinate the flowers
- It is very tolerant of salty conditions, and a wide range of soil types
- Roots and stems yield up to 7% gutta-percha, a non-elastic rubber used as an electrical insulator and in making plastics
- Decoctions from the bark are considered to be tonic, anti-rheumatic, anhidoritic and diuretic. Chinese women use the leaves to aid difficult childbirths
- It is host to a wide variety of invertebrates including Unaspis euonymi, a sap-sucking ‘scale’ insect; and dusty grey/black vine weevils, Otiorhynchus sulcatus, which can take notched nibbles out of leaf edges.