Phaulothamnus spinescens

Phaulothamnus spinescens
Phaulothamnus spinescens leaves
Phaulothamnus spinescens leaf close-up
Phaulothamnus spinescens


Rancho El Pozo, Sonora
31° 14' 25.4292" N, 111° 16' 25.1436" W

An often overlooked shrub that looks very similar to Lycium and some Condalia species. The fruiting plant has clusters of smallish (~5mm) berries with whitish, clear flesh and with a single dark seed in the middle. For this reason they look like little eyes and thus the common name in English of snake-eyes and in Spanish of mal de ojo. It grows primarily in the thorn-scrub understory, into more lush parts of the Sonoran Desert and semi-desert grasslands. It is not known from AZ, but grows regularly just south of the border from near Sásabe east to the Nogales area. It may yet be found in Arizona as it is difficult to ID for some botanists and has perhaps already been overlooked.

Family Name: 
Genus and Species: 
Common Name: 
Biology Tags: