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Lycium californicum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SolanaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules 0; blade entire to deeply lobed. Inflorescence: various. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla +- radial, cylindric to rotate, lobes generally 5; stamens 5, on corolla tube, alternate lobes; ovary superior, generally 2-chambered, style 1. Fruit: berry, loculicidal or septicidal capsule, [(drupe)], 2--5-chambered.
Genera In Family: 75 genera, 3000 species: worldwide, especially +- tropics; many alien weeds in California; many cultivated for food, drugs, or ornamental (potato, tomato, peppers, tobacco, petunia). Toxicity: many TOXIC. Note: Nicandra physalodes (L.) Gaertn. is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael H. Nee
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: LyciumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 100 species: warm, dry areas worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: Lycia, ancient country of Asia Minor)
Unabridged Reference: Hitchcock 1932 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 19:179--374

Lycium californicum Nutt.
Habit: Glabrous; branches rigidly spreading. Leaf: 3--10 mm, linear to oblanceolate, +- round in ×-section. Flower: calyx 3 mm, bell-shaped, lobes 2--4(5), +- 0.8 mm, widely triangular; corolla 4--6 mm, bell-shaped, reflexed or not, white, purple-tinged or -veined, lobes = tube, ovate; stamens exserted, attached near tube base. Fruit: 3--6 mm, red, firm. Seed: 2, oblong.
Ecology: Coastal bluffs, coastal-sage scrub; Elevation: < 150 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SCo, ChI; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: (Dec)Mar--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael H. Nee
Unabridged Reference: Hitchcock 1932 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 19:179--374
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Lycium brevipes var. hassei
Next taxon: Lycium cooperi

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botanical illustration including Lycium californicum


Citation for this treatment: Michael H. Nee Lycium californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 18, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 18, 2017.

Lycium californicum
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© 2004 Michael Charters
Lycium californicum
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Lycium californicum
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© 2013 Keir Morse
Lycium californicum
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© 2007 California Academy of Sciences
Lycium californicum
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© 2012 Neal Kramer
Lycium californicum
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© 2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Lycium californicum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Lycium californicum:
s SCo, ChI;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.