Scientific Name: Canotia holacantha Common Name: Crucifixion Thorn Family: Celastraceae, Bittersweet Family Duration: Perennial Size: Up to 15 feet Growth Form: Shrub/tree; scrubby looking, branches and twigs gray-green, the green branches are able to conduct photosynthesis, branch tips with sharp thorns.
Leaves: Green; few, alternate, small deciduous scales. Flower Color: Greenish-white to yellowish-white; several flowers in axillary clusters, sepals greenish-white to yellowish-white, fruit 5-valved woody capsule. Flowering Season: May to August but as early as March and sometimes as late as September.
Comments: Crucifixion Thorn is common and often one of the dominant species where found, truly a classic landscape feature in Arizona. It is one of three species in the southwest commonly called "Crucifixion Thorn" others are Castela emoryi and Koeberlinia spinosa.