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Ziziphus obtusifolia
About Lotebush (Ziziphus obtusifolia) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Ziziphus obtusifolia is a species of flowering plant in the buckthorn family known by several common names, including lotebush, graythorn, gumdrop tree, and Texas buckthorn. The plant is native to the South Central and Southwestern United States, the California deserts, and central through northern Mexico. It grows in shrubby and scrubby desert habitats, grasslands and prairie, woodlands, and other habitat types. It can be found among desert plants such as honey mesquite, smooth mesquite, ocotillo and creosote. Ziziphus obtusifolia is a shrub with many branches forming a thorny tangle which may exceed 3 metres (9. 8 ft) tall and approach 4 metres (13 ft) at times. The leaves are deciduous and are absent for much of the year, leaving the shrub a naked thicket of gray twigs coated in waxy whitish hairs. The ends of the twigs taper into sharp-tipped thorns. The thick, glandular gray or green leaves have oval blades 1 or 2 centimeters long. The inflorescence is a cluster of several dull yellow-green flowers. The fruit is a mealy, juicy drupe containing one seed. The fruit provides food for many species of birds and mammals. Birds use the shrub as a nesting site and the southern plains woodrat uses the twigs to build its houses.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

9.8 - 13.1 ft tall

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
Yellow, Green

Landscaping Information
Full Sun

Common uses
Common uses

For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 2.7" - 73.0", Summer Precipitation: 0.57" - 2.56", Coldest Month: 44.2" - 62.4", Hottest Month: 60.9" - 88.3", Humidity: 0.32" - 40.77", Elevation: 62" - 4590"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Crown Of Thorns, Graythorn, Gumdrop Tree, Spiny Allthorn, Texas Buckthorn

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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