Desert Thorn


Name: Desert Thorn

Scientific name: Lycium shawii

Type: Shrub

Color: Green,White

Habitat: Sandy Areas

Nature Reserves: Irkaya

Size: 90 cm

Conservation status:



Growth form: Shrub. Flowering. Jan–Apr. Status: Native. Very common. Also recorded: Bahrain, Kuwait, E Saudi Arabia, UAE. Habitat & distribution: Frequent to locally dominant, in sandy and silty depressions, runnels, wadis and on rocky slopes. Stunted specimens have been recorded in saline habitats. Often grows with stands of Acacia and Ziziphus trees. Uses: Grazed by animals and the berries are eaten by man; Cornes & Cornes note that the leaves provide browsing for camels and gazelles. Mandaville gives a detailed account relating to the old bedouin superstition that the plant is the abode of jinn (spirits), so some tribes do not use it for firewood. He states that it does not in any case provide good fuel, being ‘rather thorny and difficult to break’. Medicinally, the stems are used as a diuretic, laxative and tonic (Ghazanfar).