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Christ's thorn


Have you seen Christ's thorn?

Be on the lookout for Christ's thorn and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling Christ's thorn.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to northern and tropical Africa and southern and western Asia, christ's thorn is a spiny shrub that can out-compete native vegetation and dominate grazing land. It has not yet been recorded in Queensland.

Christ's thorn is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Ziziphus spina-christi

Other names

  • Christ's thorn jujube


  • Spiny shrub 3-10m tall.
  • Short spines are positioned in pairs along branches.
  • Bark is whitish-brown or pale grey, cracked.
  • Trunk is twisted.
  • Leaves are alternate, oval, more pointed at tips.
  • Flowers are small, greenish-yellow.
  • Fruits are 1cm in diameter, red-brown, with stone in centre.


  • Found in areas of low rainfall.
  • Capable of growing in desert or semi-desert where soils are often silty


  • Not yet recorded in Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Propagates from seeds held in woody capsules.



  • Forms dense thickets, displacing native vegetation.


  • Dominates grazing land in arid/semi-arid areas.


  • Call 13 25 23 if you find a plant you suspect may be christ's thorn to seek advice on control options.

Legal requirements

  • Christ's thorn is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • It must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
  • The Act requires that all sightings to be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.
  • By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of Christ's thorn spreading until they receive advice from an authorised officer.

Further information