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The Plant Guide

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Ziziphus obtusifolia

ZIZ-ih-fuss ob-too-sih-FOE-lee-ah

Appropriately named, this open shrub has grayish green leaves and stiff, thorn-tipped branches. With inconspicuous, pale yellow-green flowers in late spring, the pea-size fruits that follow are a showy blue-black. These fruits appeal to birds, and the thorny branches are ideal protection for nesting. Graythorn is a fine backdrop for bold plantings of succulents.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsThis Southwestern U.S. native has bird-attracting fruit and thorny branches that make good nesting sites. It is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant shrub.

CareGrow in full sun and well-drained soil. Beware of the thorns.


  • Zones : 10, 11, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Tolerance : Drought Tolerant
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Flower Color : Green, Yellow
  • Bloom Time : Late Spring
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Characteristics : Showy Fruit
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest

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