Pale Wolfberry (Lycium pallidum)

Cream colored bell flower hanging beneath green-gray leaves.

NPS Photo/Hallie Larsen

Pale Wolfberry (Lycium pallidum) is a flowering shrub in the Nightshade Family, native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. The shrubs are spiny and can form a tangly thicket. The pale leaves are ovate, sometimes hiding the dangling trumpet flowers. The funnel-shaped blossoms have a complex color that ranges from pale yellow to greenish cream sometimes with a hint of purple. Their fragrance attracts insects. The resulting berries are red and juicy. Like other useful plants, the Ancestral Puebloans encouraged them to grow near their villages. For various indigenous people of the region, it has been used traditionally for ceremonies, medicine, and food (fresh, dried, or cooked).

Last updated: July 31, 2021

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