Baja Desert Thorn
Spring - Summer
Dense mounding shrub excellent for wildlife. Small tubular lavender flowers are followed by showy red berries which attract birds. The branches are lined with small, fleshy green leaves. This is a bushy, spreading shrub approaching a maximum height of 12 feet but usually less, with many long, thorny, tangled branches. Because of its tendency to form a tangled thicket, it may be pruned in summer dormancy to improve its shape. It is used commonly for bank stabilization and hedges
It is native to northwestern Mexico and it occurs in California as far as the Sonoran Desert as well as some of the Channel Islands. It grows in the scrub of desert and coastline.
Baja Desert Thorn is in the nightshade family.
Growing Plants in the Desert — Important Information
The information presented here is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate and based on my research from reliable sources, observations I have made of plants growing in my, and other gardens I have visited, and observations of the plants in their native habitats. I would appreciate your feedback and experience to help me educate others!
Cacti: In my experience, cacti are much happier in the filtered shade here in the low desert of the Coachella Valley. Colors are more vibrant and they bloom more profusely, especially the non-native varieties. If you pay attention to how our native barrel and beavertail opuntia grow in the wild, it is frequently tucked in the rocks under creosote or another shrub.
Light Requirements: I have found that in our desert (Sonoran/Colorado) “full sun” plants can take and appreciate the late afternoon filtered sun, especially in the hot summer months.