Alyxia ruscifolia Christmas bush Family APOCYNACEAE
An attractive bush to 2m high, with small prickly leaves and bright orange fruit. A widespread plant in the understorey of the lowland forests. This species is also found in east and north Australia and Papua New Guinea, although the Lord Howe plants are somewhat different, being less dense in growth form, the leaves broader, the points more marked.
Leaves are in whorls of 4, stiff, elliptic with a sharp point, 15 x 10mm, milky sap. Flowers (Feb‑Aug) white, 12mm long, 5 petals with a characteristic twist, usually only 1 or 2 together. Fruit an orange drupe 8mm in diameter, ovoid and slightly pointed, sometimes 2 or more end to end.