Description from Flora of China
Shrubs, often armed with thorns, pubescent with simple hairs. Leaves usually fasciculate on short shoots, petiolate or subsessile; leaf blade small, plane or linear-cylindric, entire. Inflorescences solitary or fasciculate axillary flowers; peduncle absent. Flowers pedicellate. Calyx campanulate, 2- or 5-dentate or -lobed. Corolla funnelform or campanulate; tube short, limb usually (4- or) 5-lobed, enlarged at throat. Stamens inserted high in corolla tube, included or exserted; anthers oblong-elliptic, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary 2-locular; ovules 1 to many. Style slender. Berry red, orange, yellow, or black, globose, ovoid, or oblong, fleshy or juicy; fruiting calyx slightly enlarged. Seeds numerous or few, compressed, pitted.
About 80 species: South America, S Africa, a few in temperate Europe and Asia; seven species in China.
Lycium cochinchinense Loureiro (Fl. Cochinch. 1: 134. 1790) is excluded from this treatment. According to Merrill (Trans. Amer. Acad. n.s., 24: 401. 1935), "it is clearly not a Lycium and
is not a solanaceous plant." While this name, with its early publication date, may have priority for some Chinese plant, it is unlikely to affect names in Lycium.