Allthorn, Crown of Thorns, Junco

Koeberlinia spinosa Zucc.



Allthorn is a native, warm-season, perennial shrub that typically grows from 8 to 15 ft or 2.4 to 4.6 m. It can reach heights up to 23 feet or 7 m. It is a thick, green, and tangled mass of thorns that remains leafless throughout most of the year. After the rain, Allthorn will sprout small, scale-like, and alternating leaves for a short period of time.    The fruit of Allthorn consists of 4-8 small, shiny, black berries which are preceded by tiny greenish-white flowers with 4 petals. Blooming may occur from March through October, especially after receiving rainfall.    The new growth of Allthorn is highly palatable and is grazed by cattle and wildlife. When the plant matures, it loses its value for cattle and may cause punctures and tears to the skin. The wildlife value remains good throughout the plant's growth. Allthorn fruits are consumed by birds, and it provides shelter for quail and other wildlife species. 


Allthorn is distributed across Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico. In Texas, it is found on most soil types, from gravelly to sandy, throughout the Trans-Pecos and Rio Grande Plains. It is tolerant of drought and extreme temperatures.