plant is a spiny and woody shrub that grows up to 2 to 2.5 m high. The bark of
the plant is grey. The branches are smooth and grey. The leaves are 5 to 20 mm
long. The flowers are small and white with 3 mm. Petals occur either solitary
or in fascicle. Flowers are usually bisexual, solitary or in racemes, sometimes
precocious. Male flowers have 10 to 15 stamens; female flowers have one or more
pistils. The drupe is about 1 cm long;
gray to red brown in color and hairy with thin flesh.
is native to the deserts of Arizona, California, Baja California, Nevada and
Utah. It is distributed in the areas that usually below 2,100 m elevation as it
prefers sandy or rocky soil on dry slopes and washes. I was also introduced in
Indian subcontinent including Pakistan and India.
The plant is not edible. It
has very limited range uses. It has traditional ways of using it: the Cahuilla
prepared the drupe as a delicacy. The wild almonds were considered a delicacy
by Native Americans. The Kawaiisu found the tough twigs useful as drills in
starting fires and as the front portion of arrow shafts.