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Vascular Plants of California
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Lycium californicum
CALIFORNIA BOX-THORN


Higher Taxonomy
Family: SolanaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: NIGHTSHADE FAMILY
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


Common Name: BOX-THORN, WOLFBERRY
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.
NATIVE
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
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael H. Nee
Unabridged Reference: Hitchcock 1932 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 19:179--374
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Lycium brevipes var. hassei
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Botanical illustration including Lycium californicum

botanical illustration including Lycium californicum

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Citation for this treatment: Michael H. Nee 2012, Lycium californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=32207, accessed on August 25, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on August 25, 2019.

Lycium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Keir Morse
Lycium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Keir Morse
Lycium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Keir Morse
Lycium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Keir Morse
Lycium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2004 Michael Charters
Lycium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Keir Morse

More photos of Lycium californicum in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Lycium californicum:
s SCo, ChI
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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).





 

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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.