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Genus Lycium Family Solanaceae

Description: Shrubs, often spiny, usually glabrous.

Leaves alternate or clustered, simple, margins entire, shortly petiolate.

Flowers solitary or in small groups at nodes, bisexual, actinomorphic. Calyx tubular to campanulate, unevenly 4- or 5-lobed, sometimes 2-lipped. Corolla funnel-shaped, creamy white to lilac, soon turning brown; limb 4- or 5-lobed, the lobes imbricate in bud. Stamens usually 5, unequal, inserted towards base of corolla tube; anthers 2-locular, dorsifixed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Ovary 2-locular.

Fruit a succulent berry, partially enclosed by calyx.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, America, Africa, Eurasia and Pacific. Australia: 4 species (1 species endemic, 3 species naturalized), all States.

Text by B. J. Conn
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Corolla lobes about a quarter as long as corolla; stamens included or scarcely exserted; fresh leaves thick, fleshy, usually 1.5–5 mm wideLycium australe
Corolla lobes a third to half as long as corolla; stamens much exserted; fresh leaves slightly fleshy, some more than 5 mm wide2
2Lateral branches mostly more than 10 mm long, leafy, ending in a spine, leaves mostly obovate; berry more or less globoseLycium ferocissimum
Lateral branches mostly less than 10 mm long, leafless, ending in a spine, or spines absent; leaves mostly ovate; berry more or less ellipsoid
                       Back to 1
Lycium barbarum

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