Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Lycium carolinianum Walter
- Family: Nightshade (Solanaceae)
- Flowering: September-October
- Field Marks: This shrub usually has spine-tipped branches, succulent leaves up to 1/4 inch
wide, and blue or lavender, 4- or 5-parted, tubular flowers.
- Habitat: Brackish or saline marshes and shores, mangrove swamps.
- Habit: Branched shrub up to 10 feet tall.
- Stems: Smooth, stiff, pale, often spine-tipped.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, succulent, narrowly oblanceolate to spatulate, rounded at the tip,
tapering to the base, toothless, smooth, up to 1 inch long, up to 1/4 inch wide.
- Flowers: Solitary in the axils of the leaves, smooth, slender, on stalks up to 1 inch long.
- Sepals: Usually 4, green, united to form a short tube, usually persistent on the fruits, up to
1/4 inch long.
- Petals: Usually 4, less commonly 5, blue or lavender, united below to form a tube, the tube up
to 1/6 inch long, hairy inside at the top.
- Stamens: Usually 4, protruding above the tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Berries ellipsoid to nearly spherical, red, shiny, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Notes: There are often tufts of small leaves in the axils of the main leaves.
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