Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Solanaceae
Lycium ferocissimum

Citation: Miers, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. set. 2, 14:187 (1854).

Synonymy: L. macrocalyx Domin, Biblthca Bot. 89:1114 (1929); L. chinense sensu Benth., Fl. Aust. 4:467 (1868), partly, non Miller.

Common name: African boxthorn.

Intricately branched shrub 1.5-2.5, rarely to 4 m high; ultimate lateral branchlets leafy, ending in a stout spine up to 6 (rarely to 12) cm long; initial single leaves early deciduous; subsequent leaves in clusters of 5-12, slightly fleshy, obovate to elliptic, sometimes narrowly so, 10-30 x 4-8 mm (rarely to 4 x 12 mm), bright-green; pedicel 5-12 (rarely to 16) mm.

Corolla 10-12 mm long, pale-lilac or white, with a lilac blotch towards the base of each lobe; lobes 3.5-4.5 x 3-3.5 mm; stamens exserted.

Fruiting calyx split deeply once or twice; berry globose to broadly ovoid, orange-red, 5-12 x 5-10 mm; seeds 2.5-1.5 mm, dull-yellow.

image of FSA3_Lycium_fer.jpg Flowering branch.
Image source: fig. 566C in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Cunningham et al. (1982) Plants of western New South Wales, p. 587.

Distribution:  Grown as a hedge plant in the late 19th century and now widespread as a common weed especially in the southern half of the State. In drier regions usually found along watercourses or at watering places. Distributed by birds consuming the edible berries.

S.Aust.: LE, NU, GT, FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, YP, SL, KI, SE.   All States.   Native to South Africa.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: throughout the year but chiefly spring and early summer.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Author: Not yet available

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