The Spindleberry is a British native, often seen in hedgerows on chalky soil in the south of England. Fast growing, it is an attractive shrub in autumn when the leaves turn bright red and contrast with the strange pink 4-lobed fruits, which split partially open the reveal bright orange seeds. It is best grown in mixed wildlife hedges and on woodland margins, but is also a good garden shrub.
Site and soil
Best on well-drained or chalky soils. Does well in exposed areas and is very hardy.
Height and spread
Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;
After 10 years: 6m x 3m After 20 years 6m x 3m
Leaf and bark
The leaves are lance-shaped with serrated edges, mid green, changing to brilliant red before leaf fall in autumn. The bark is greyish-brown.
Flower, seed and fruit
The tiny greenish-yellow flowers open in small clusters in late spring. They are followed by 4-lobed pinks fruits, which split partially open to reveal the bright orange seeds within. The seeds are poisonous.
Screening, mixed wildlife hedges, specimen shrub. The Spindleberry is host to the beet and bean aphid and should not be planted as a farm hedge where these crops are to be grown. The wood is very hard and was once used for spindles, skewers, pipe stems and artists charcoal. The bark was used medicinally to treat liver disorders.
Numerous insects, including bees and hoverflies are attracted to the flowers. The flowers are pollinated by St Mark's Fly.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.