Fremont's desert-thorn Solanaceae Lycium
fremontii A. Gray symbol: LYFR
Leaf: Alternate, simple, drought deciduous, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, broadly obovate to spatulate, entire margins, blue to gray-green, somewhat thickened or even succulent.
Flower: Species is monoecious; narrow tubular, 5 lobed, 1/2 inch long, lavender to purple, appearing in primarily late winter to early spring, some throughout the year.
Fruit: Fleshy, juicy, orange-red, oval berries (resemble small tomatoes), 1/2 to 3/8 inch long, hang downward, ripen in spring, edible.
Twig: Stiff, light brown but turning gray, and spine-tipped, leaves appear on short spurs.
Bark: Irregular, interlacing, shallow furrows with shreddy flat ridges.
Form: Densely branched, spiny shrub up to 9 feet tall.
Looks like: Anderson boxthorn - Baja desert-thorn - bitter condalia - blackbrush
Additional Range Information: Lycium fremontii is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. Download the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2019 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information