|Leaf: Alternate, simple but appearing whorled at the spur shoot tips, evergreen, 1/2 inch, obovate, margins entire, with a round tip, light green above, paler and fine hairy below.
Flower: Inconspicuous, usually paired, in leaf angles, yellow-white, lacking petals but with 5 sepals, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Usually paired, round drupe, fleshy, to 1/4 inch in diameter, ripening to almost black, bitter to but otherwise edible, midsummer.
Twig: Slender, stiff and thorn tipped, bearing spur shoots that protrude at (nearly) 90 degree angles, gray-brown.
Bark: Gray-brown or red-brown, initially smooth, developing diamond-shaped furrows with scaly-topped ridges.
Form: A large shrub to 20 feet, often with several wide-spreading trunks, becoming gnarled.
Looks like: Anderson boxthorn
- Baja desert-thorn
- Fremont's desert-thorn