Lycium barbarum L.

  • Family: Solanaceae (nightshade)
  • Common name: matrimony vine
  • Synonym: Lycium halimifolium, Lycium vulgare

    Shrub to 3 m (9 ft) tall. Stems arching or sometimes climbing, glabrous, spiny at nodes of older growth. Leaves solitary on young growth, sometimes fascicled on older growth; blade usually elliptic or oblong, 2-5 cm (0.8-2 in) long and 0.5-2 cm (0.2-0.8 in) wide, entire, glabrous. Flowers solitary or in small clusters, violet to pinkish, short-funnelform, 8-12 mm (0.3-0.5 in) long, usually 5-lobed. Fruits red when ripe, drying black, 15-20 mm (0.6-0.8 in) in diameter.

    Distribution: Native to Asia but widely cultivated and escaped in much of the U. S.
    Habitat: Old homesites, roadsides, abandoned fields.
    NWI status: none
    Comment: Lycium refers to the ancient country of Lycia in Asia Minor; barbarum may refer to Barbary, an old name for part of northern Africa.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/14/99
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