Lycium bernlandieri

Solanaceae (Nightshade family)


Wolfberry is a small, slender, native shrub that grows to be 3-7 feet tall. Its thorny branches range in color from whitish-gray to reddish.

From each of Wolfberry's thorns, 2-5 clustered and alternating leaves will emerge. It will lose its leaves from April to September and will have leaves all throughout the winter months. The flowers are lavender, blue, or white, and are clustered or solitary. Its fruit, a small red berry, contains multiple seeds.

Wolfberry is browsed by white-tailed deer and occasionally livestock. The fruit is eaten by most birds and small mammals.


Wolfberry is often found in conjunction with pricklypear and mesquite in soils ranging from clay to rock and gravel. It tends to favor heavy, well drained, sandy loams.