Scientific Name: Lycium pallidum
Common Names: Pale Desert-thorn, Pale Wolfberry, Pale Lycium, Rabbit Thorn
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Shrub
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland, Riparian. This plant grows in sunny locations in riparian areas, higher elevation deserts, chaparral, grasslands, and juniper woodlands.
Flower Color: Pale green, Purple, Dull greenish-purplish, White
Flowering Season: Spring
Height: Up to 6 feet (2 m) tall
Description: The flowers have exserted stamens and are pendulous, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and broadly tubular with 5 partly overlapping, flared lobes. The flowers are followed by egg-shaped, 1/3 inch (1 cm) in diameter, orange-red or glaucous red berries. The leaves are pale glaucous blue-green in color, hairless, clustered on the stems, and spatulate, oblanceolate, or broadly oval-shaped. The branches are long, often bent, and have long, straight, sharp, woody spines. The plants have several main stems and a slender, rangy, often lopsided appearance.
The other Lycium species found here have smaller flowers.
Edible – The ripe red berries are edible raw, cooked, or dried and were a food source for Native Americans.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Solanaceae – Potato family
Genus: Lycium L. – desert-thorn
Species: Lycium pallidum Miers – pale desert-thorn
More About This Plant