Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants
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Plant Image
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Plant Image
Max Licher @, Usage Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
Plant Description

Origin: Native
General Description: Deciduous. Shrub or subshrub which forms a dense, erect clump of many thin, branching, thorny stems approaching 6-1/2 feet in maximum height. The wood is said to contain a small amount of oil.
Identification notes: A low growing shrub with many densely overlapping spine-tipped branches; leaves and young twigs appear slightly waxy and grayish-green; flower petals white, deciduous; red (sometimes white) persistent glandular flower stem bases.
Height: 6-1/2 feet     Width: 3 to 4 feet


Habitat Description: Found on limestone in canyons, on hillsides and cliffs in desert scrub, grasslands, chaparral and juniper woodlands.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3500 - 6500 feet


Color: White   Shape: Regular, not in clusters    Tubular: N   Flowering Period: Mar - Jun
Description: Solitary in leaf axils, on short stems; sepals 5, white, short, with papery margins; petals 5, white, narrow and oblong.


Leaf Color: Green   Type: Simple   Shape: Round or oval   Margin: Smooth   Attachment: Alternate   Hairs: N
Description: Leaves simple, small and narrower at their base, typically appearing when the plant begins flowering.


Color: Brown   Type: Capsule   Description: Small oval seed capsules contain tiny seeds. Called follicles, seed pods split open along 1 suture line.


Bark Color: Brown to green   Bark Texture (Mature): Smooth   Bark and Branch Description: Stems are woody at base, turning into greenish thorny branchlets.
Spines, thorns or prickles: Y

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
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Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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