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SOLANACEAE

NIGHTSHADE FAMILY

Michael Nee

Annual to shrub
Leaves 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, alternate corolla lobes; ovary superior, generally 2-chambered, style 1
Fruit: berry or capsule, 2–5-chambered
Genera in family: 75 genera, 3000 species: worldwide, especially ± tropical; many alien weeds in CA; many cultivated for food, drugs, or ornamental (potato, tomato, peppers, tobacco, petunia); many TOXIC.

LYCIUM

BOX THORN

Shrub 1–4 m, generally with leafy thorns, glabrous, hairy, or glandular
Leaves alternate or clustered, entire, small, fleshy
Inflorescence: clusters; flowers 1–several
Flower: calyx cylindric to bell-shaped, lobes 2–5; corolla funnel-shaped or rotate, whitish, greenish, or purplish, lobes 4–5; stamens attached at different levels in corolla
Fruit: berry, 2-chambered, dry to fleshy
Seeds 2–many
Species in genus: ± 100 species: warm, dry areas worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: Lycia, ancient country of Asia Minor)
Reference: [Hitchcock 1932 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 19:179–374]

Native

L. fremontii A. Gray

Plant glandular-hairy; branches spreading to ascending
Leaf 10–25 mm, narrowly obovate
Flower: calyx 4–8 mm, cylindric, lobes 5, 1–2 mm, < tube, triangular; corolla 10–15 mm, narrowly funnel-shaped, violet or whitish, purple-veined, lobes < 1/3 tube; stamens mostly included, unequal, attached in lower 1/3 of tube
Fruit 6–8 mm, red, juicy
Seeds many
Ecology: Alkaline soils, flats
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Peninsular Ranges (e slope), s Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: s Arizona, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–Apr
Horticultural information: DRN, SUN: 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 &IRR: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; also STBL.

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