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Berlandier Wolfberry, Cilindrillo, Desert Thorn, Tomatillo
Lycium berlandieri


Alkali and clay flats, gravelly limestone scrubland and thickets play host to Berlandier wolfberry from coastal and South Texas to the Trans Pecos, to Eastern New Mexico and Northern Mexico, up to an elevation of 3000 feet. It appears to prefer well drained sandy loams, often in association with mesquite and prickly pear. It is characterized from the other Trans Pecos Lyciums by its more open, airy branching, less dense leaf cover and only a few needle-like spines on the ends of young branches. It is summer deciduous, that is, it sheds its leaves from April through September, but remains evergreen through the winter months. The slender branches are spreading or reclining and somewhat crooked. The blue or pale lavender cup-shaped flowers are borne singly or in pairs, followed by a red, rounded or oval berry. Berlandier wolfberry provides browse for white-tail deer and sometimes for livestock. Chachalacas, racoons and other small mammals and many birds feast on the fruit. Texas lyciums have been used medicinally and the fruits are sometimes made into a sauce. Several varieties of L. berlandieri have been identified.

Plant Habit or Use: small shrub
medium shrub

Exposure: sun
partial sun

Flower Color: blue, lavender, white

Blooming Period: spring

Fruit Characteristics: red berry

Height: to 7 feet

Width: 2 to 4 feet

Plant Character: deciduous

Heat Tolerance: very high

Water Requirements:

Soil Requirements: alkaline

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Additional Comments:

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