Parish's Desert-thorn [Lycium parishii Gray]

Parish's Desert-thorn [Lycium parishii Gray]

Listing CNPS List 2 R-E-D Code 2-1-1

State/Federal. Status -- None SOLANACEAE Mar.-Apr.

Global Rank G3? State Rank S?

Distribution: San Diego County, Imperial County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County; Arizona; Sonora, Mexico

Habitat: Sonoran Desert Scrub with sandy plains and desert washes is the reported habitat of this spiny shrub. At Mountain Palm Springs it occurs in a somewhat alkaline site, at a locale immediately adjacent to a seasonal creek.

Known Sites: This shrub is uncommon at Mountain Palm Springs near the palm groves. A single plant was found on a mildly disturbed hillside south of UC Riverside near the freeway. Herbarium specimens also include a site on the east slope of the Tierra Blanca Mountains; as well as near Fossil Canyon in the Coyote Mountains of Imperial County; in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties of Arizona; and near Sonoita in Sonora, Mexico. A planted specimen of this rare shrub is found in the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden near Claremont in Los Angeles County; numerous other sensitive California shrubs, trees, and perennial herbs grow in the outstanding gardens of this facility which focuses on native California vegetation.

One specimen from San Marcos Island in the Gulf of California, east of Baja California, is found at the herbarium of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Status: This species is presumed stable in its apparently isolated desert populations. The status of Parish's Desert Thorn in San Diego County is poorly understood; more collection information is needed. All populations should be protected.


Copyright May 1994 Craig H. Reiser.

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