Phaulothamnus spinescens

An often overlooked or unrecognized shrub that looks 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. They look somewhat like little eyes and have common name of snake-eyes in English and mal de ojo in Spanish. In Sonora it grows primarily in thorn-scrub/TDF understory, in the lusher parts of the Sonoran Desert, and sometimes in semi-desert grassland. It is not known from Arizona, 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 without fruit for some botanists and has perhaps been overlooked. More info and photos on SEINet.

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

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