Lycium torreyi A. Gray
Torrey Wolfberry, Desert-thorn, Box-thorn, Squawberry, Rabbit-thorn, Tomatillo, Garambullo
Solanaceae (Potato Family)
USDA Symbol: LYTO
Spiny (sometimes nearly unarmed), spreading to sprawling shrub often forming thickets. To 3 meters in height. Spatulate to oblanceolate-elliptic to 5 cm in length, borne thickly on the branches and dehiscing during droughts to be quickly replaced after rains. Flowers 1 to 3 in a fascicle, greenish-lavender to white, with five corolla lobes. Berries are bright red and juicy.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Elliptic , Oblanceolate , Spatulate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Texture: Leathery , Smooth
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Notes: 6-9
Fruit: Bright red. 6-10mm
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Often flowers after fall rains. Fruit is produced from June through September.
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NM , NV , TX , UT
Native Distribution: TX, NM, AZ, UT, NV, CA and MX.
Native Habitat: Mesquite, Saltbush, Tarbush and Creosotebush scrubland near arroyos and on alkalai sacatons.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Fine, silty, alluvial soils.
Conditions Comments: West Texas from El Paso to Big Bend.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Berries are eaten by birds. Cover and habitat for birds and small mammals.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings
National Wetland Indicator Status
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Lycium torreyi in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lycium torreyi in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lycium torreyi
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-04-08
Research By: Joe Marcus