Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) was introduced to Taranaki from South Africa in the 1870s. The plant was ideally suited to survive the dry, salt-laden winds of south and coastal Taranaki. Hedges swiftly grew up to 6 metres high and wide, and were difficult to maintain until mechanised hedge-cutters were developed in the 1950s. Boxthorn is now classified as a plant pest – it cannot be sold or propagated, and new hedges cannot be planted.
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Photograph by Jock Phillips
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