E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lycium barbarum L.
matrimony vine
Solanaceae (Potato family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Werner Eigelsreiter  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7137)

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Distribution of Lycium barbarum
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Species Information

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Deciduous shrub with long, weak, sparsely thorny, smooth, climbing branches, 1-6 m tall.
Alternate, elliptic to lanceolate or oblanceolate, 3-7 cm long and 1.5-3.5 cm wide on new shoots, 1-1.5 cm long and 2-3 mm wide on old stems, short-stalked, entire.
Inflorescence of 1-4 axillary flowers on stalks 0.7-2 cm long; corollas lavender or purple, funnel-shaped, 9-14 mm long, with 4-7 spreading lobes, the lobes shorter than the tube; calyces tubular, 3-5 mm long, 3- to 6-lobed.
Berries, egg-shaped, red, 1-2 cm long; seeds 10-20.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry waste places, rocky slopes and roadsides in the steppe zone; rare in SC BC; introduced from Europe.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lycium halimifolium Mill.
Lycium vulgare Dunal

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References