(1 customer review)

Christmasberry, Carolina desertthorn – Lycium carolinianum


3 gallon/10"
3 gallon/10" Installed
25 gallon/21"
25 gallon/21″ Installed

General Landscape Uses: Accent shrub in low coastal areas.

Description: Medium shrub with open, usually somewhat spiny branches. Leaves succulent, dull green, small.

Dimensions: About 6-8 feet in height; rarely to 10 feet. About as broad as tall, but with a very open structure.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Southeastern United States west to Texas and south to the Monroe County Keys; Cuba and Mexico.

Habitats: Coastal berms; margins of mangrove swamps.

Soils: Periodically innundated to moist, moderately well-drained to poorly-drained brackish soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Moderate; tolerates brackish water or occasional inundation by salt water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate; generally requires moist soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun to light shade.

Flower Color: Lavender to lilac or rarely white.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy, 3/8″ wide.

Flowering Season: All year; peak summer-fall.

Fruit: Bright red succulent berry. Winter.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Nectar plant for great southern white (Ascia monuste), gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), and other butterflies, and attracts sphinx moths and bee pollinators. A variety of birds eat the ripe fruit.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from de-pulped seed and cuttings.

References: Hammer 2004, Nelson 2003, Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Comments: The bright red fruits are very showy. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation’s Flower Friday page.

Pot Size

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1 review for Christmasberry, Carolina desertthorn – Lycium carolinianum

  1. Steve S.

    Natives are the best!

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