Crucifixion Thorn


Scientific Name: Canotia holacantha
Common Name: Crucifixion Thorn
Family: Celastraceae, Bittersweet Family
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 15 feet
Growth Form: Shrub/tree; scrubby looking, branches and twigs gray-green, the green branches are able to conduct photosynthesis, branch tips with sharp thorns.

Leaves: Green; few, alternate, small deciduous scales.
Flower Color: Greenish-white to yellowish-white; several flowers in axillary clusters, sepals          greenish-white to yellowish-white, fruit 5-valved woody capsule.
Flowering Season: May to August but as early as March and sometimes as late as September.

Comments: Crucifixion Thorn is common and often one of the dominant species where found, truly a classic landscape feature in Arizona. It is one of three species in the southwest commonly called "Crucifixion Thorn" others are Castela emoryi and Koeberlinia spinosa.