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Arizona Desert-Thorn

Lycium exsertum

Pen & Ink by Michael Plagens

Lycium excertum, photo by Michael Plagens also hosted at Wikimedia

This photo was taken at Hedgepeth Hills, Maricopa County, Arizona on 03 Feb. 2008. The photograph is available in higher resolution at the Wikimedia Project.

FLOWERS: Small tubular flowers are very pale, or whitish-green with slight brown or purple tinge. They tend to hang downwards (pendulant) and there is an abundance of glandular hairs on the calyx.

FRUIT: Bright red berries with flavor of tomatoes containing several seeds.

LEAVES: Elyptic or spatulate leaves are 1 to 2 cm long.

SHRUB: A medium to large shrub with rigid branches and not-so-sharp thorns.

RANGE: Common on rocky slopes and bajadas. May be present with one or more other species of Lycium.

ARMED: Twig-ends are pointed, but not terribly sharp on most plants.

Solanaceae -- Nightshade Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010