Washes, hillsides, from 1,000 to 4,600 feet
Obovate to spatulate, up to 1 inch long and 0.3 inches wide, glandular hairy
Lycium exsertum is a species of the upper Sonoran Desert in Arizona, plus a few locations elsewhere in the state. Plants are open, branched shrubs, with woody stems bearing well-separated thorns, and reddish bark. Young stems have a dense covering of short, fine hairs. Leaves are small, unlobed and untoothed, densely glandular-hairy on both surfaces, smoothly tapering at the base to a short petiole. Flowers can bloom any time of year, where moisture is sufficient, but otherwise in late winter and spring.
The pendent flowers, solitary, paired or in groups of three, have a bell-shaped calyx, divided to about a third of its length into five rounded lobes, and a narrow, funnel-shaped corolla, up to 0.6 inches long, opening to five tiny lobes. The corolla tube is pale creamy-white with tinges of brown or purple; the lobes darker pink. The five stamens, approximately equal in length, are noticeably exserted from the top of the tube. Anthers are greenish. Fruits are succulent green berries, maturing (and enlarging) to red, resembling a tomato.