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Baja Desert Thorn
Lycium brevipes
  


About Baja Desert Thorn (Lycium brevipes) Lycium brevipes is a species of flowering plant in the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family known by the common name Baja Desert-thorn. It is native to northwestern Mexico and it occurs in California as far as the Sonoran Desert as well as near the coast and on some of the Channel Islands. It grows in the scrub of desert and coastline. It is also used as a southwestern landscaping plant. This is a bushy, spreading shrub approaching a maximum height of 4 meters but usually less, with many long, thorny, tangled branches. The branches are lined with small, fleshy green leaves up to 1.5 centimeters long and coated with minute hairs. The small cluster consists of tubular flowers roughly 1 to 2 centimeters long including the calyx of sepals at the base. The lavender to nearly white corolla is tiny, funnel-shaped and has 2 to 6 lobes at the mouth. The five stamens and one style protrude from the flower. The fruit is a bright red spherical berry about a centimeter wide containing many seeds. The berries attract birds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Shrub

Max. Height
3 - 13.1 ft (0.9 - 4 m)

Max. Width
3 - 12 ft (0.9 - 3.7 m)

Form
Mounding

Fragrance
None

Growth Rate
Moderate

Dormancy
Summer Semi-Deciduous

Flower Color
Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter


Native Status
Native

Natural Setting
Site Type
Desert or arid coastal bluffs,slopes and washes

Sun
Sun

Elevation ?
-232' - 4026'

Annual Precip. ?
2.4" - 14.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.23" - 1.99"

Coldest Month ?
44.6° F - 63.1° F

Hottest Month ?
68.3° F - 89.3° F

Humidity ?
1.79 vpd - 40.51 vpd

Soil Description
Typically sandy and rocky

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Drainage
Fast

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 25° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 8*, 9*, 12, 13, 14*, 15, 16, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Butterflies hosted ?

SHOW ALL >>

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Low
Moderate - High


Popularity
Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
1x/month
No Summer Water
1x/month
2x/month
3x/month
1/week
Keep moist


Mulch
Inorganic

Pruning
Because of its tendency to form a tangled thicket, it may be pruned in summer dormancy to improve its shape.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; 2-4 mos. stratification may improve germination.

Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Other Names
Common Names
Baja Desert-thorn



Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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