This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Deciduous climbing or trailing often spiny shrubs. Leaves simple, entire. Flowers small. Calyx tubular, 5 - lobed. Corolla funnel-shaped. Stamens 5. Fruit baccate, enclosed in the calyx-tube. The species are from the Mediterranean region, Cape of Good Hope, Eastern Asia, and tropical America. A classical name applied to a thorny shrub.
1. L. Barbarum. Box Thorn or Tea Tree. - This is the shrub so commonly seen covering cottage porches with long slender flexible shoots, small linear-lanceolate or oblong entire leaves, and small lilac or violet flowers followed by scarlet or orange berries.
L. Europaeum is a spiny shrub with linear spathulate leaves and pink or reddish flowers. L. Chinense is very near L. Bar-barum, but the tube of the corolla is shorter and constricted in the middle.
Desfontainia spinosa is a shrub of disputed affinity, with alternate coriaceous spinose - dentate Holly-like leaves and scarlet and yellow trumpet-shaped pendent flowers. It is a native of Chili, and therefore rather tender. D. Hookeri and D. Chilensis are probably varieties of the same species.