PLANT: Shrub, profusely branched, thorny, 1-3.5 m tall, with glandular pubescence and silvery to dark gray or brown bark. LEAVES: obovate-spatulate or elliptic, 1-4 in a fascicle, 3-12 mm long, 1-5 mm wide, rounded to obtuse at apex; petiole indistinguishable from the lamina, densely pubescent, sometimes cinereous. FLOWERS: erect, borne singly or in pairs, pedicels 2-10 mm long, pubescent; calyx campanulate, densely pubescent, tube 2-3 mm long, lobes 5, elliptic or oblong-oval, apex rounded to acute, half as long as or longer than the tube; corolla with greenish purple throat externally, tube narrowly campanulate to narrowly obconic, contracted above the ovary, 6-10 mm long, 2-3.5 mm broad at the throat, lobes 5, pale lavender, with darker lavender marks, spreading, ovate, 2-3 mm long, with ciliolate margins; stamens exserted due to spreading of the corolla-lobes, about equalling them in length; filaments adnate to lower half of corolla-tube, densely pilose on lower fourth of free portion; style equalling stamens. FRUITS: red, ovoid, 4-7 mm long, 3-5 mm thick, 7-15-seeded (Fig. 2I). n = 12. NOTES: Washes, alluvial fans in Sonoran Desert; La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, Yuma cos. (Fig. 1H); 250-1200 m (800-3900 ft); Feb-Sep; CA, NV; Son., Baja C., Mex. REFERENCES: Windham, M.D. And G. Yatskievych. 2009. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Isoëtaceae. CANOTIA 5 (1): 27-29, 2009.
Chiang and Landrum 2009
Common Name: Parish's desert-thorn Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Thorny, profusely branched shrub, 1-3.5 m tall, with glandular pubescence and silvery to dark gray or brown bark. Leaves: Clustered in fascicles of 1-4 leaves, the fascicles alternate along the stem; blades obovate-spatulate or elliptic, 3-12 mm long by 1-5 mm wide, rounded to obtuse at apex and tapering at the base; densely pubescent, sometimes cinereous. Flowers: Borne singly or in pairs from the leaf fascicles, erect on pubescent pedicels 2-10 mm long; calyx bell-shaped, densely pubescent, the tube 2-3 mm long, topped with 5 oval-shaped lobes, these half as long or longer than the tube; corolla 6-10 mm long, 2-3.5 mm wide and greenish-purple at the throat, the tube narrowly bell-shaped and contracted above the ovary, and topped with 5 ovate lobes, these 2-3 mm long, spreading, pale lavender with darker lavender marks, with ciliolate margins; stamens exserted due to spreading of the corolla-lobes, about equalling them in length; filaments fused to lower half of corolla-tube, densely pilose on lower fourth of free portion. Fruits: Berries ovoid, red, 4-7 mm long by 3-5 mm thick, 7-15-seeded Ecology: Found in washes and alluvial fans in the Sonoran Desert, below 4,000 ft (1219 m); flowers Feb-Sept. Distribution: AZ, s CA, s NV; south to Sonora, Baja Calif., MEX. Notes: This species is scattered throughout southern and western AZ and into neighboring CA and NV, with its area of highest abundance in and around Organ Pipe National Monument and Cabeza Prieta Wildlife Refuge. Distinguished from other Lycium spp. by its corollas with bell-shaped tubes and spreading lobes (L. macrodon and L. cooperi have nearly cylindric corolla tubes with reflexed lobes); flower color which is light greenish on the corolla tube and purple on the corolla lobes; flower length of 8-12 mm (L. pallidum has 15-25 mm flowers); glandular-pubescent leaves (L. pallidum has glabrous leaves); soft red berries (L. macrodon and L. cooperi have hard berries); and calyx lobes half as long or longer than the calyx tube. Easily distinguished from the common and widespread L. andersonii by its leaves, which are glandular pubescent and flat in cross-section (L. andersonii has hairless leaves which are semi-succulent and rounded in cross-section. Ethnobotany: Not recorded for this species, but berries are probably edible. Etymology: Lycium is from Greek name Lykion, used to describe a thorny tree or shrub; parishii honors S. B. and W. F. Parish, collectors of the type specimen. Synonyms: Lycium pringlei Editor: AHAzelton 2016