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Desfontainia spinosa - Ruiz.&Pav.

Common Name Taique
Family Loganiaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Cool mountain cloud forests in the north of its range, descending to sea level in the south[11].
Range S. America - Growing in the Andes from Colombia to southern Chile.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade
Desfontainia spinosa Taique

Desfontainia spinosa Taique
http://flickr.com/photos/jim-sf/Desmanthus illinoensis


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Desfontainia spinosa is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in leaf all year, in flower from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.



Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Miscellany;  Narcotic.

The leaves are narcotic and have been used medicinally in Chile[192]. More research needs to be carried out into the medicinal virtues of this plant[192]. The sub-species D. spinosa hookeri is usually employed[192].

Other Uses


None known

Cultivation details

Requires a humus-rich moisture-retentive acid soil in a sheltered position in partial shade[200]. Grows well in sandy soils as long as there is plenty of humus present[245]. Intolerant of alkaline soils and of water-logging[202]. Dislikes drought[200]. Plants like growing with their roots in the shade but their stems reaching up into the light[245]. This species is not fully hardy in Britain, plants tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c when sheltered from cold drying winds[200]. They grow best along the west coast of the country, especially in Scotland and N. Ireland[11]. The sub-species D. spinosa hookeri.(Dun.)Reiche. is usually employed for its medicinal virtues[238]. There is at least one named variety selected for its ornamental value[200]. The flowers are softly honey-scented[245]. A slow-growing plant[202]. Any pruning to retain shape is best done in the spring[200].


Seed - surface sow in spring in a greenhouse. Do not allow the compost to become dry. Grow on the seedlings in a bright filtered light[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Requires humid conditions and bottom heat at 16°c[200]. Overwinter in a cold frame and grow on for another year before planting out[200]. Division of suckers in the dormant season[202].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Subject : Desfontainia spinosa  
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