Ziziphus parryi Torrey var. parryi

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)


Lotebush, also called California crucillo, Parry abrojo, or Parry's jujube, is a large rounded shrub reaching some 12' in height in the Buckthorn family that has gray to brown bark and thorn-tipped twigs. The deciduous leaves are mostly fascicled, olive to bright green, obovate to oblong-elliptic, and entire-margined. Typical leaf length is about 1/2" to 3/4" and the leaves are attached by short slender petioles.  The flowers are glabrous and greenish-yellow with a hypanthium which surrounds the base of the ovary. There are five sepals and five inconspicuous petals that sometimes hide behind the stamens.  The fruit is a dry drupe to 3/4" long and ellipsoid-ovoid in shape, often distinctly beaked. Lotebush is quite uncommon but can be distinguished from the other Ziziphus (sp. obtusifolia which is usually called graythorn) by the color of its fruit, brown as opposed to bluish-black.  The fruits of graythorn are also much smaller. Lotebush is a local resident on dry slopes and in canyons from 1200' to 4500' at the west edge of the Colorado Desert as in the Morongo Valley and south to Mexico, blooming from January to March.  These pictures were taken in the Mission Creek Preserve.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Ziziphus 2) parryi.
Pronunciation: ZIZ-i-fus PARE-ee-eye.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.