Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pale Desert-Thorn
Lycium pallidum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycium (LY-see-um) (Info)
Species: pallidum (PAL-lid-dum) (Info)

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Click thumbnail
to view:

By syswriter
Thumbnail #1 of Lycium pallidum by syswriter


3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive kinderegg On Feb 19, 2012, kinderegg from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I currently have this in a pot of native desert soil, amended only with a bit of compost. It is doing well, my dog uprooted it when I first got it but I repotted it and it is taking off now.

Positive syswriter On Jun 1, 2008, syswriter from Oracle, AZ wrote:

While most sources say the berries are red, they ripen from green to red to dark purple.
This plant is most often 2 to 6 feet tall, but a 10 foot tall Rabbit Thorn tree has been found in Oracle, Arizona, growing next to a Velvet Mesquite in a small canyon.
The plant is very thorny. The green flowers may make it difficult for pollinators to find because few berries are found after blooming.
The roots are woody and perennial.

Positive MitchF On Feb 5, 2007, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Also called Wolfberry, very thorny to 6foot. Often the marker of ancient campsites. Cold stratify for 60 days before sowing.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Oracle, Arizona
Las Vegas, Nevada

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