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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 14 | Solanaceae | Lycium

8. Lycium torreyi A. Gray, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 6: 47. 1862.

Squaw-thorn, squaw desert-thorn, Torrey’s wolfberry

Shrubs erect, 1–3 m; bark yellowish tan to brown; stems glabrous. Leaves: blade spat­ulate to obovate, 10–50 × 1.5–15 mm, ± fleshy, surfaces glabrous. Inflorescences 2–8-flowered fascicles or solitary flowers. Pedicels 5–20 mm. Flowers (4–)5-merous; calyx cupulate to tubular, 2.5–6 mm, lobe lengths 0.25-0.5 times tube; corolla white to greenish lavender, narrowly tubular, 5–15 mm, lobes spreading, 1–4 mm, margins densely ciliate-lanate; stamens slightly exserted. Berries orange to red, ovoid, 6–12 mm, fleshy. Seeds 8–30. 2n = 24.

Flowering Mar–May. Desert washes, alluvial flats, along streams and canals; 50–1000 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua).

In the flora area, Lycium torreyi occurs in Arizona, southeastern California, eastern Nevada (Clark and Lincoln counties), western New Mexico, western Texas, and southern Utah. It can be distinguished from L. andersonii by its densely ciliate-lanate corolla lobes, and the mouth of the corolla is not quite as narrow. Further, L. torreyi usually occurs by streams or canals, with branches more cascading than upright. C. L. Hitchcock (1932) reported the fruits to be juicy and sweet.


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