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Christmasberry
Lycium carolinianum

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycium (LY-see-um) (Info)
Species: carolinianum (kair-oh-lin-ee-AN-um) (Info)

Category:

Shrubs

Height:

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

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

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

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

Bloom Color:

Violet/Lavender

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Blooms all year

Foliage:

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Succulent

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

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

Lutz, Florida

Miami, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Bastrop, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On Mar 9, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Christmasberry is a shrub or small tree that usually grows up to around 15 or 20 feet high. It is usually around 5 to 12 or 13 feet high.

It is native to coastal habitats, salt marshes, beach dunes, coastal ridges and sandy coastal habitats (including coastal scrubs) in the southeastern United States from South Carolina south through Florida, west along the Gulf coast into Texas (zones 8a to 11). It is also known as Carolina Desert-thorn.

The berries may provide food for wildlife, but have been known to cause vomiting if eated by people.

This is a highly useful plant for coastal situations, as it is very salt-tolerant.

The small flowers are pink to violet or light purple (lavender).

Neutral

On Dec 30, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is an attractive shrub adapted to dry scrub and sandy beach soils. The pretty lavender flowers are followed by bright red berries. Though they are appealing, the fruit should be avoided, especially by children. Vomiting has been reported after consuming it.

Lycium has been used in folk medicine to treat maladies from rheumatism to cancer.