AZ Arboretums

Lycium fremontii


Common: Wolfberry, Matrimony vine, Fremont's desert-thorn
Family: Solanaceae
Origin: Southwest USA, northern Mexico, Sonoran desert
Light: Light shade
Moderate to regular water
Temp: Hardy in Phoenix. Hardy to Zone 7.
Soil: Requires moist soil

Densely branched, spiny shrub up to 9 feet tall.  Stiff, light brown twigs but turning gray, and spine-tipped, leaves appear on short spurs.

Leaves are alternate, simple, drought deciduous, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, broadly obovate to spatulate, entire margins, blue to gray-green, somewhat thickened or even succulent.

Flowers are narrow tubular, 5 lobed, 1/2 inch long, lavender to purple, appearing in primarily late winter to early spring, some throughout the year.

Fleshy, juicy, orange-red, oval berries (resemble small tomatoes), 1/2 to 3/8 inch long, hang downward, ripen in spring, edible.