Common Name: Thornbush Family: Solanaceae, Nightshade family
Duration: Perennial Size: Up to a maximum of 13 feet Growth Form: Shrub or small tree. This is a bushy, spreading shrub with many long, thorny, tangled branches. Leaves: Alternate, simple, usually in fascicles, more or less succulent. Flower Color: Tubular flowers with five points are usually small (1/2" long) and white, pale pink to lavender in color. The fruit is a bright red spherical berry less than 1/2” wide containing many seeds. Flowering Season: Best blooms November thru March, but throughout the year in response to rains.
Comments: The fruits are edible, tasting like a tart, salty tomato. In the fall flowers are a nectar source for bees and butterflies, including the Funereal Duskywing, a skipper, Queen, and Monarch butterflies.
The fruit, as well as the thick branching habit make the wolfberry an excellent bird attracting plant.