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Allthorn, Crucifixion Thorn, Junco, Coronara de Cristo, Spiny Allthorn, Corona de Cristo
Koeberlinia spinosa


Perfectly described by its common name, allthorn is a tangled mass of smooth, green, spine-tipped branches. Although it does have leaves, they are tiny and scale-like and drop early in the spring, leaving the photosynthesis to the stems and thorns. Greenish-white flowers appear along the branches from March through October, but its showiest display is in the fall, when the bright green stems are covered with an abundance of shiny black fruit. Allthorn is found in different soil types in the desert of the Trans-Pecos to the Southern Rio Grande Plains, and also New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. It is usually a shrub of about 8 feet high and 6 feet wide, but it can become a tree of 15 feet or more. It is very drought and cold hardy, surviving temperatures to 0 degrees F, and must be grown in full sun. Allthorn would make an unbeatable and unusual barrier hedge. The fruits are favorites of birds, and it provides excellent cover for quail and other birds and wildlife.

Plant Habit or Use: medium shrub
large shrub
small tree

Exposure: sun

Flower Color: greenish white

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: clusters of black berries

Height: 8 to 15 feet

Width: 6 to 12 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: adaptable

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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