Lycium ruthenicum

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Lycium ruthenicum
Lycium ruthenicum Baikonur 01.jpg
Lycium ruthenicum fruits
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Euasterids I
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Lycium
Species: L. ruthenicum
Binomial name
Lycium ruthenicum

Lycium ruthenicum (Chinese: 柴桦; pinyin: chai hua), commonly known as Russian Box Thorn[1] is a species of flowering plant in the nightshade family which can be found in Central Asia, southern part of Russia, throughout Northwest China,[2] and Pakistan.[3]


The species is either 1.8 centimetres (0.71 in),[1] 20–50 centimetres (7.9–19.7 in),[2] 20–150 centimetres (7.9–59.1 in),[4] or 180 centimetres (71 in) tall.[3] The leaves are either 5–30 millimetres (0.20–1.18 in),[4] 0.6–2.5 centimetres (0.24–0.98 in),[1] or 6–25 millimetres (0.24–0.98 in) by 1–1.5 millimetres (0.039–0.059 in).[3] It have 2-4 sepals each one of which is bell-shaped and 3–4 millimetres (0.12–0.16 in) long.[4] Pedicels are either 5–10 millimetres (0.20–0.39 in) long[2] or can be as long as it sepals. The calyx is 2.5–3.5 millimetres (0.098–0.138 in) long[3] but can be companulate and exceed 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in).[2] Corolla's tube is 5–7 millimetres (0.20–0.28 in) long with stamens have 5–8 millimetres (0.20–0.31 in) long berries[3] (which can sometimes grow up to 9 millimetres (0.35 in))[2] which are also broad and globose.[2] The fruits' seeds are brown coloured and are 1.5–2 millimetres (0.059–0.079 in) long.[2] The flowering time is June to August[3] but can sometimes bloom in May too. Fruits bloom from August to October.[2]

Distribution and uses[edit]

In India, it grows in Kashmir where it is used by native people to cure blindness in camels. In Central Asia and Northwest China the species grows on elevation of 400–3,000 metres (1,300–9,800 ft)[1] in saline deserts, sands and roadsides.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Russian Box Thorn". Flowers of India. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Lycium ruthenicum Murray" 17. Flora of China. p. 302. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Murray. "Lycium ruthenicum Murray". Flora of Pakistan. p. 33. 
  4. ^ a b c "Lycium ruthenicum Murr.". Retrieved December 1, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Murray (1779). "Lycium ruthenicum" 2. Comment. Soc. Sci. Gotting. pp. 9–13. 
  • Boiss. (1879). "Lycium ruthenicum" 4. Fl. Or. p. 290. 
  • Clarke (1968). "Lycium ruthenicum" 241. Feinburn in Collect. Bot. p. 574. 
  • Schoenbeck-Temesy, 31
  • Baytop, 448