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

17. Lycium brevipes Bentham, Bot. Voy. Sulphur. 40. 1844.

Baja desert-thorn

Lycium brevipes var. hassei (Greene) C. L. Hitchcock; L. cedrosense Greene; L. hassei Greene; L. richii A. Gray; L. verrucosum Eastwood

Shrubs usually erect, sometimes prostrate, 1–3 m; bark tan to brown; stems glandular-puberulent. Leaves: blade spat­ulate to obovate, 3–30 × 3–19 mm, fleshy, surfaces glabrous or puberulent. Inflorescences 2–3-flowered fascicles or solitary flowers. Pedicels 1–10 mm. Flowers 5-merous; calyx campanulate, 2–6 mm, lobe lengths to 0.5–1 times tube; corolla lavender to white, sometimes with deep purple markings, campanulate to tubular, 4–10 mm, lobes 3–5 mm; stamens exserted. Berries red, ovoid, 10 mm, fleshy. Seeds 50+. 2n = 24.

Flowering Mar–Apr. Coastal dunes, flood plains (mainly in Sonoran Desert); 0–600 m; Calif.; Mexico (Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora).

Corolla color varies across the range of Lycium brevipes and plants may be spreading or erect. Within the flora area, L. brevipes is restricted to southern California, mainly along the northern coastline of the Salton Sea. It is rare in, or extirpated from, the California Channel Islands (historically it was collected on the southern islands).


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