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Carried by 2 nurseries
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Plant type



3 - 13 ft Tall
3 - 12 ft Wide



Growth rate



Summer Semi-deciduous





Flowering season

Winter, Spring

Common uses

Bank stabilization, Hedge

Lycium brevipes is a species of flowering plant in the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family known by the common name Baja Desert-thorn. It is native to northwestern Mexico and it occurs in California as far as the Sonoran Desert as well as near the coast and on some of the Channel Islands. It grows in the scrub of desert and coastline. It is also used as a southwestern landscaping plant. This is a bushy, spreading shrub approaching a maximum height of 4 meters but usually less, with many long, thorny, tangled branches. The branches are lined with small, fleshy green leaves up to 1.5 centimeters long and coated with minute hairs. The small cluster consists of tubular flowers roughly 1 to 2 centimeters long including the calyx of sepals at the base. The lavender to nearly white corolla is tiny, funnel-shaped and has 2 to 6 lobes at the mouth. The five stamens and one style protrude from the flower. The fruit is a bright red spherical berry about a centimeter wide containing many seeds. The berries attract birds.


Full Sun


Low, Very Low

Summer irrigation

Max 1x / month once established

Cold tolerance

Tolerates cold to 25° F

Soil drainage


Soil description

Typically sandy and rocky.
Soil PH: 6.0 - 8.0


Because of its tendency to form a tangled thicket, it may be pruned in summer dormancy to improve its shape.


For propagating by seed: No treatment; 2-4 mos. stratification may improve germination.

Sunset Zones

7, 8*, 9*, 12, 13, 14*, 15, 16, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

In coastal or non-desert gardens use with Shaw's Agave (Agave shawii), Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta), Fingertips (Dudleya edulis), Giant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya brittonii - a Baja species), California Encelia (Encelia californica), Cliff Spurge (Euphorbia misera), California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica), Chaparral Yucca (Hesperoyucca whipplei), Mojave Yucca (Yucca shidigera), Coast Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia spp.), Coast Cholla (Cylindropuntia prolifera), Fish Hook Cactus (Mammillaria dioica).

In desert gardens use with Desert Agave (Agave deserti), Elephant Tree (Bursera microphylla), Desert Lavender (Condea emoryi), Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa or actonii), Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus), Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), Chuparosa (Justicia californica), Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris), Palo Verde (Parkinsonia spp.), Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), and Mojave Yucca (Yucca shidigera)

Coastal Agave

Agave shawii

California Sagebrush

Artemisia californica

Elephant Tree

Bursera microphylla

Desert Lavender

Condea emoryi


Butterflies and moths supported

0 confirmed and 3 likely

Confirmed Likely

Loxostege albiceralis

Five-spotted Hawkmoth|Tomato Hornworm

Manduca quinquemaculata

Carolina Sphinx|Tomatoe Sphinx|Tobacco Hornworm

Manduca sexta

Site type

Desert or arid coastal bluffs, slopes and washes

Plant communities

Alkali Sink, Coastal Sage Scrub, Creosote Bush Scrub,