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Torrey Wolfberry, Desert-thorn, Rabbit-thorn, Box-thorn, Squaw-berry, Tomatillo, Garambullo
Lycium torreyi


Torrey wolfberry resides on silty and alkali flats and along canals of the Rio Grande River drainage at elevations from 1400 feet to 4500 feet. It also ranges into New Mexico, Arizona, Southeast Nevada, Southern California and south into Mexico. It will often form dense thickets, especially in silt and saline soils. Its many spreading branches are heavily leaved, and may or may not bear 5 to 10 milimeter spines. The greyish leaves are variably shaped and somewhat succulent. Texas Lyciums tend to drop their leaves as a response to drought or cold weather. From April to October there are cup-shaped to tubular greenish-lavender to greenish-white flowers having densely hairy corolla lobes. The oval, bright red, very juicy berry starts ripening in June. It is edible raw, and has been described as both "sweet and tasty" and "not palatable". Lycium berries may also be made into a sauce, and the plants have had a variety of medicinal uses. They also provide cover and food for wildlife and nesting sites for desert birds.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: greenish white or greenish lavender

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: juicy red berry

Height: 3 to 6 feet

Width: 2 to 3 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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