Cooper's Box Thorn

Common Names:
Coopers Box Thorn, Peach Thorn
Scientific name:
Lycium cooperi
Elevation range:
<5,000 ft.
Flowering Months:
March, April, May
Height | Length:
3 - 5 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Shrub
Notes:
Monoecious
Ancestral Usage:
food
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Mojave, Sonoran

Coopers Box Thorn 4

Coopers Box Thorn in the desert

Lycium cooperi has tubular flowers that form a star shape at the opening. Densely clustered leaves are oval and somewhat cup-shaped. Both the calyx and leaves are fleshy and slightly hairy. Red Rock Canyon | March 2015

Coopers Box Thorn 2

Coopers Box Thorn in the desert

Lycium cooperi belongs to the Solanaceae (Nightshade) family. As the common name suggests, it has many stiff thorns among the branches. Red Rock Canyon State Park | March 24 2015

Coopers Box Thorn 1

Coopers Box Thorn in the desert

A view of Lycium cooperi with trumpet-shaped white flowers. The fruit (not pictured) is a yellow or orange berry favored by many species of birds and other wildlife. Joshua Tree National Park | April 2015  

Coopers Box Thorn 3

Coopers Box Thorn in the desert

Lycium cooperi is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers occur on the same plant. It occurs throughout the southwest from California to Utah and Arizona. Red Rock Canyon State Park | March 24, 2015