A spiny, evergreen shrub which grows in woodland and scrub, on roadsides, hedge banks and walls, and as an occasional relic of cultivation. Reproduction is by seed, which can be bird-sown. Lowland.
This species was discovered by Charles Darwin on the Beagle voyage in 1835, and first cultivated in 1849. It is now widely grown. It was recorded from the wild by 1928, and is likely to be increasing because of its popularity in roadside plantings.
Native of S. America (Argentina, Chile).