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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Shrub 1–4 m, generally with thorns, glabrous, hairy, or glandular-hairy. Leaf: alternate, clustered or not, entire, small, fleshy, generally ± flat to elliptic in ×-section. Inflorescence: clusters; flowers 1–several. Flower: calyx cylindric to bell-shaped, lobes 2–5; corolla funnel- or bell-shaped, ± white, ± green, or ± purple, lobes 4–5; stamens attached at various levels. Fruit: berry, 2-chambered, fleshy [dry]. Seed: 2–many.
± 100 species: warm, dry areas worldwide. (Latin: Lycia, ancient country of Asia Minor)
Unabridged references: [Hitchcock 1932 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 19:179–374]

Key to Lycium

1. Seeds 2; leaf ± round to ± elliptic in ×-section ..... L. californicum

1' Seeds several to many; leaf elliptic to ± flat in ×-section

2. Calyx lobes 1/2 to > tube or generally > 2 mm

3. Fruit firm, green-purple or yellow to orange

4. Leaves glandular-puberulent, not glaucous; fruit yellow to orange, with 2 cross-grooves above middle ..... L. cooperi

4' Leaves glabrous, glaucous; fruit green-purple, not cross-grooved ..... L. pallidum var. oligospermum

3' Fruit soft, red

5. Stamens glabrous, attached near tube top ..... L. verrucosum

5' Stamens hairy at base, attached near tube middle.

6. Leaves generally glabrous; corolla generally 4-lobed ..... L. brevipes var. hassei

6' Leaves glandular-puberulent; corolla 5-lobed ..... L. parishii

2' Calyx lobes < 2/3 tube or generally < 2 mm

7. Branches curved to arched, thorns 0–1(2) cm ..... L. barbarum

7' Branches not curved to arched, thorns 1–5 cm

8. Corolla lobes 1/3 to = tube ..... L. brevipes var. brevipes

8' Corolla lobes < 1/3 tube

9. Plant glandular-hairy ..... L. fremontii

9' Plant ± glabrous

10. Corolla lobe margin glabrous to finely straight-ciliate; leaf ± linear-oblanceolate ..... L. andersonii

10' Corolla lobe margin woolly-ciliate; leaf narrowly oblanceolate to obovate ..... L. torreyi


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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