is a spreading shrub in the nightshade family
known by the common names California boxthorn
and California desert-thorn
. This thorny shrub has thick, fleshy, bulbous green leaves and bell-shaped white flowers with purple streaks or spots. It bears bright red shiny berries 3 to 6 millimeters in diameter. This plant is native to the coast of southern California, including the Channel Islands
, and northern Baja California. The shrub is a member of the chaparral
ecosystem and other plant communities of the direct coastline in the region. It is most plentiful in the ecotone
between salt marshes
and the coastal sage scrub
plant community. The destruction of this specific ecotone in this region has led to a reduction in the population of this plant there. A variant is also found in Arizona.
- James, M. L. & J. B. Zedler. (2000). Dynamics of wetland and upland subshrubs at the salt marsh - coastal sage scrub ecotone. American Midland Naturalist 143:2 298-311.