crucifixion thorn Simaroubaceae Castela emoryi
Leaf:Mostly leafless, alternate, narrowly ovate (scale-like), 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
Flower:Species is dioecious; small (1/4 inch), numerous petals in tight, branched clusters near ends of twigs, yellowish to purplish-green, appearing in mid-summer.
Fruit:Persistent, dark brown, dry and woody (1/4 inch), occurring in a circular, flat, star-shaped, persistent cluster (1/2 inch across), many of these "star" clusters occur in dense, larger clumps at the end of the twigs.
Twig:Stout, blue, gray or yellow-green, maybe finely hairy, very rigid with numerous stout thorns.
Bark:Gray-brown, narrow furrows with smooth ridges.
Form:A large (up to 10 feet), sprawling, dense shrub with a round crown, often with descending branches heavy with thorns.