This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Philibert Collet, 1643-1718, French botanist). Rhamnacese. Odd spiny shrubs grown under glass, and in the open in California and other warm regions.
Leaves small and simple (or wanting), opposite: branches short, often flattened, arranged in opposite pairs, thickened, spiny (sometimes called leaves): flowers small, perfect, yellowish or white, nodding on 1-flowered pedicels, single or fascicled in the axils or beneath the flattened divaricate spines; calyx bell-shaped or tubular, 4-5-parted; petals 4-6 or 0, inserted on the calyx; stamens 4-6; disk joined to calyx-tube, inconspicuous or the margin rolled-in; ovary 3-lobed and 3-celled, standing in the disk, the stigma 3-lobed: fruit a coriaceous dry drupe-like caps. - About a dozen species in S. Amer., mostly in the tropical parts. The colletias are said to start readily from cuttings of half-ripened wood, as well as from seeds. They are to be grown as single or detached specimens, because of their oddity.
Gill. & Hook. (C. horrida, Hort.). Very curious shrub, 3-4 ft., with elliptic flattened very broad-spiny decurrent branches: leaves few, elliptic, entire: flowers small, white, a few together at the base of the spines, borne profusely in spring. S. Brazil, Uruguay. B.M. 5033.
Lam. Shrub, to 10 ft., with strong awl-shaped very sharp spines: leaves elliptic, small, sessile, serrate, mostly vanishing at blooming time: flowers larger, urn-shaped, borne singly or nearly so beneath the spines. S. Brazil, Uruguay.
Gill. & Hook. Smaller, 3-4 ft.: spines as in C. spinosa, but more numerous, thicker, and hairy: flowers cylindrical, in clusters near tops of the branches. Andes of Chile.
Ephedra, Vent. Small stiff bush: branches erect, spiny: leaves wanting: flowers (in very early spring) sessile at the nodes, spicate-glomerate; calyx top-shaped, the lobes spreading. Peru, Chile. L.B.C. 19:1830 -Reported as cultivated in Calif. L.H.B.