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)
Pronunciation: ZIZ-i-fus PARE-ee-eye.
Click here for Botanical