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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Lycium

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Asterids > Euasterid I > Order: Solanales > Family: Solanaceae

About 100 species, found worldwide in warm and temperate regions, especially the New World. There are about 23 species native to southern Africa, with an additional two species cultivated in the region.

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of southern Africa - an online checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Lycium acutifolium


Lycium afrum


Lycium amoenum


Lycium arenicola


Lycium bosciifolium


Lycium cinereum


Lycium decumbens


Lycium eenii


Lycium ferocissimum


Lycium gariepense


Lycium grandicalyx


Lycium hirsutum


Lycium horridum


Lycium mascarenense


Lycium oxycarpum


Lycium pilifolium


Lycium pumilum


Lycium schizocalyx


Lycium shawii


Lycium strandveldense


Lycium tenue


Lycium tetrandrum


Lycium villosum


Other species, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Lycium barbatum (Duke of Argyll's tea tree)

Native to the Mediterranean.


Lycium chinensis

Native to China.


Herbivores in southern Africa

Acherontia atropos (Death's Head Hawkmoth)

The caterpillars eat the leaves of many species in the Solanaceae, including Lycium.

Lepidoptera: Sphingidae