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Koeberlinia spinosa

Pen & Ink by Michael Plagens

As the name implies few other structures besides thorns are apparent.

RANGE: Uncommon to rare but turns up at a wide variety of locations throughout southern Arizona, California and Mexico mostly below 1000 m elevation. One reliable place to find it is in Palm Canyon in the Kofa Mountains, Arizona. It is also found in portions of the Chihuahuan Desert.

ARMED: To the hilt. These are among the sharpest of all Sonoran Desert spines!

SHRUB: Rarely more than a meter tall. The branches are photosynthetic green and usually rather spindly.

LEAVES: Generally leafless, however a few minute spatulate leaves may be present during rapid growth periods but are soon deciduous.

FLOWERS: Small, whitish flowers are on short spikes.

Koeberliniaceae -- Junco Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009