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Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum (Carolina wolfberry) | NPIN
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Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum (Carolina wolfberry)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum

Lycium carolinianum Walter var. quadrifidum (Dunal) C.L. Hitchc.

Carolina wolfberry, Creeping wolfberry, Carolina desert-thorn

Solanaceae (Potato Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: LYCAQ

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Carolina Wolfberry is a thinly branched, spiny, upright or somewhat spreading shrub. The new branches may have 1-centimeter-long thick spines, or be unarmed; older branches, however, are spiny. Leaves are somewhat succulent, and variety quadrifidum is distinguished as a variety because it has larger leaves and flowers and more spines, as well as by its more western distribution. Its lavender calyx is wheel-shaped to bell-shaped. Carolina wolfberry is distinctive in having a four-lobed corolla, as most of the plants in the Solanaceae family have five lobes.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Flower: Flowers 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch
Fruit: Tomato red 1/4 to 1/2 inch
Size Class: 1-3 ft. , 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct

Distribution

USA: LA , MS , TX
Native Distribution: From Mississippi to southeast Texas to northeastern Mexico
Native Habitat: About ponds, along and in ditches, marshes, on wet clay flats, salt flats, and in sandy/gravelly soil on brush covered hills.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Seasonally inundated sand, loam, clay, or gravel. Salt-tolerant.
Conditions Comments: Will grow in harsh conditions, but is drought-deciduous, meaning it loses its leaves during summer droughts.

Benefit

Use Ornamental: Fruits ornamental. Ground cover. Good for wetland gardens and wildlife habitat.
Use Wildlife: Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds, Browse
Attracts: Birds

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Water during summer drought. Use line trimmer to keep it at a pleasing height.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Bibliography

Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lycium carolinianum var. quadrifidum

Metadata

Record Modified: 2009-03-07
Research By: NPIS

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