AZ Arboretums

Zizyphus obtusifolia

Gray thorn

Common: Gray thorn, Lotebush, Texas buckthorn
Family: Rhamnaceae
Origin: Gray Thorn is native across a wide range in the Southwest, from California east to Oklahoma and Texas, and south into Mexico
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Low water use
Soil: Well drained soil

Gray Thorn is a durable landscape shrub that will reach a mature size of about 6' tall by 8' wide. Branches are waxy and gray-green, most end in a terminal thorn.

Flowers are insignificant, but blue-black berries in summer provide some interest, as well as a wildlife attractant.

This is a very important plant to the local birds - many like to build their nests in the protective thorns, quail and doves eat the fruits. The roots can be used for soap.

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping