Lycium brevipes

Baja Desert Thorn

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 12' X 12'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



The Baja desert thorn has an unusual “split” range. It is found along the immediate coast and Channel Islands from Long Beach into Baja, but also in the interior deserts into the Southwest. This member of the nightshade family grows as an upright shrub with gray bark, almost succulent tear-drop shaped leaves and attractive (though small) lavender flowers. The flowers are followed by bright red berries. Like many desert plants, the Baja desert thorn will lose its leaves in the summer in drought conditions. This can be prevented with infrequent watering. In a normal rain year, I suspect that there is plenty of water in the soil to keep the desert thorn green all year in a Bay Area garden. As the name implies, this bush grows with a complement of sharp thorns, so care should be taken to plant away from traveled areas.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen