Gumdrop Tree, Clepe, Texas Buckthorn

Zizyphus obtusifolia (T. & G.) Gray var. obtusifolia

Whole plant

Family : Rhamnaceae

Longevity : Perennial

Origin : Native

Season : Cool

Lotebush is a spiny, multi-branched shrub of the Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains. It can be found growing in a variety of soil types and mixed-brush communities. It can reach a height of 3 to 6 feet and has thorn-tipped branches. The leaves are shiny green, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, and have a smooth to slightly toothed margin. The small greenish flower blooms during the summer. The black fruit is eaten by foxes, raccoons, coyotes and many birds. The leaves are occasionally browsed by white-tailed deer, cattle, sheep and goats. However, the spines tend to cause mouth injuries to these mammals. Birds, such as the cactus wren, nest in Lotebush.

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