Australian New Crops Info 2016
Supported by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Listing of Interesting Plants of the World:

Koeberlinia spinosa



This species is usually known as:

Koeberlinia spinosa, Koeberlinia spinosa var. tenuispina


This species has also been known as:

Koeberlinia spinosa var. spinosa, Koeberlinia spinosa subsp. tenuispina, Koeberlinia spinosa var. verniflora


Common names:

Crown Of Thorns, Allthorn, Crucifixion Thorn



Trends (five databases) 1901-2013:
[Number of papers mentioning Koeberlinia spinosa: 39]



Popularity of Koeberlinia spinosa over time
[Left-hand Plot: Plot of numbers of papers mentioning Koeberlinia spinosa (histogram and left hand axis scale of left-hand plot) and line of best fit, 1901 to 2013 (equation and % variation accounted for in box); Right-hand Plot: Plot of a proportional micro index, derived from numbers of papers mentioning Koeberlinia spinosa as a proportion (scaled by multiplying by one million) of the approximate total number of papers available in databases for that year (frequency polygon and left-hand axis scale of right-hand plot) and line of best fit, 1901 to 2013 (equation and % variation accounted for in box)] 

[For larger charts showing the numbers of papers that have mentioned this species over years, select this link; there are links to come back from there]



[Total number of keywords included in the papers that mentioned this species: 150]


Chihuahuan Desert (4), packrat middens (3), Brassicales (2), Calciargids (2), Capparaceae (2), Forchhammeria (2), gas chromatography (2), Glucosinolates (2), Habitat (2), Herbarium specimens (2), Holocene (2), Mineralization (2), petrocalcic horizons (2), Petrocalcids (2), Pleistocene (2), pollen (2), root morphology (2), Setchellanthus (2), Species diversity (2), Stick nest (2), Woodrat (2), (core) Brassicales (1), Amblyomma cajennense (1), behavioral diapause (1), biomes (1), biosynthesis (1), Botanical composition (1), buried soils (1), calcic horizons (1), character reconstruction (1), chemical analysis (1), chemical constituents of plants (1), chemotaxonomy (1), climate change (1), Conservation (1), Contracted-vegetation pattern (1), coppice dunes (1), Correl & Johnston (1979) (1), deeply penetrating soil water routes (1), degradation (1), desert grassland (1), desert scrub (1), desert soils (1), Dynamics (1), ecology (1), Edaphic restriction (1), Endemism (1), essential oil (1), Fitness (1), floristics (1), forestry (1), fossil evidence (1), Geomorphology (1), glucosinolate (1), Goats (1), grasslands (1), gypsum hardpan (1), habitat characterization (1), Haplargids (1), Haplocalcids (1), Herbivory (1), hydraulic conductivity (1), Internet resource (1), Kids (1), Koberlinia spinosa (1), Kováts index (1), Lambda (1), Land form (1), last glacial maximum (1), leaf margin analysis (LMA) (1), Life form (1), Life form diversity (1), macrofossils (1), Malvales (1), mass spectrometry (1), metabolic engineering (1), Mexico (1), mid-Holocene (1), myrosinase (1), new breeding localities (1), North America (1), Nutrient content (1), paleoecology (1), phylogeny (1), pinyon–juniper woodland (1), pipes (1), plant anatomy (1), plant functional types (1), plant macrofossil data (1), plant morphology (1), plant taxonomy (1), pluvial lakes (1), pollen data (1), population dynamics (1), Preference indices (1), Range goats (1), regulation (1), Removal experiment (1), retention index libraries (1), root depth (1), root distribution (1), San Luis Potosí (1), Sapindales (1), Selenium (1), Semi-arid vegetation (1), Sink (1), Soil (1), Soil quality (1), Soil-plant relations (1), Source (1), south Texas (1), Species richness (1), stages I–IV of carbonate accumulation (1), State-and-transition models (1), synthetic floras (1), temperature (1), Thresholds (1), Torripsamments (1), transport (1), trees (1), upward-growing roots (1), vegetation changes (1), vegetation history (1), volatile organic compounds (1), western North America (1), Worthen's Sparrow (1)


[If all keywords are not here (as indicated by .....), they can be accessed from this link; there are links to come back from there]



Most likely scope for crop use/product (%):
[Please note: When there are only a few papers mentioning a species, care should be taken with the interpretation of these crop use/product results; as well, a mention may relate to the use of a species, or the context in which it grows, rather than a product]


timber (18.82), model (18.45), forage (16.17), breeding (10.18), essential oil (6.33), charcoal (5.91), medicinal (3.26), fruit (2.38), poison (2.36), soil amelioration (2.00)…..


[To see the full list of crop use/product outcomes, from searching abstracts of the papers that have mentioned this species, select this link; details of the analysis process have also been included; there are links to come back from there]



Recent mentions of this species in the literature:
[since 2012, with links to abstracts; The references from 1901-2013 which have been used for the trend, keyword and crop use/product analyses below, are listed below these references]


Badano EI, Samour-Nieva OR, Flores J, Flores-Flores JL, Flores-Cano JA and Rodas-Ortiz JP (2016) Facilitation by nurse plants contributes to vegetation recovery in human-disturbed desert ecosystems. J Plant Ecol 9, 485-497.

Flores-Palacios A (2016) Does structural parasitism by epiphytes exist? A case study between Tillandsia recurvata and Parkinsonia praecox. Plant Biology 18, 463-470.

Villaseñor JL (2016) Checklist of the native vascular plants of Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87, 559-902.

Flores-Maldonado JJ, Ruvalcaba-Ortega I, Moreno-Talamantes A, García-Aranda MA, Favela-Lara S and González-Rojas JI (2015) Representatividad geográfica y ambiental del inventario de especies arbustivas en el Área de Protección de Recursos Naturales “Cuenca Alimentadora del Distrito Nacional de Riego 004 Don Martín”, Coahuila, México. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 86, 809-822.

Robinson QH, Bustos D and Roemer GW (2014) The application of occupancy modeling to evaluate intraguild predation in a model carnivore system. Ecology 95, 3112-3123.

Stromberg JC (2013) Root patterns and hydrogeomorphic niches of riparian plants in the American Southwest. Journal of Arid Environments 94, 1-9.



References 1901-2013 (and links to abstracts):
[Number of papers mentioning Koeberlinia spinosa: 39; Any undated papers have been included at the end]


Beck DL, Zavala J, Montalvo EO and Quintana FG (2011) Meteorological indicators for Amblyomma cajennense and population dynamics in the Tamaulipan Biotic Province in Texas. Journal of Vector Ecology 36, 135-146.

(2010) CURTIS’S BOTANICAL MAGAZINE: Index to Volume 27 of this Series or Volume 211 of the Whole Work. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 27, 382-384.

Canales-del Castillo R, González-Rojas JI, Ruvalcaba-Ortega I and García-Ramírez Á (2010) New breeding localities of Worthen’s Sparrows in northeastern Mexico

Nuevas localidades reproductivas del Gorrión de Worthen en el noreste de México. Journal of Field Ornithology 81, 5-12.

Fay MF and Christenhusz MJM (2010) BRASSICALES – AN ORDER OF PLANTS CHARACTERISED BY SHARED CHEMISTRY. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 27, 165-196.

Mithen R, Bennett R and Marquez J (2010) Glucosinolate biochemical diversity and innovation in the Brassicales. Phytochemistry 71, 2074-2086.

Whitford WG and Steinberger Y (2010) Pack rats (Neotoma spp.): Keystone ecological engineers? Journal of Arid Environments 74, 1450-1455.

Lucero M, Estell R, Tellez M and Fredrickson E (2009) A retention index calculator simplifies identification of plant volatile organic compounds. Phytochemical Analysis 20, 378-384.

Lucero M, Estell R, Tellez Ma and Fredrickson E (2009) A retention index calculator simplifies identification of plant volatile organic compounds. Phytochemical analysis. 20, 378-384.

Martin-Bravo S, Vargas P and Luceno M (2009) Is Oligomeris (Resedaceae) indigenous to North America? Molecular evidence for a natural colonization from the Old World. Am. J. Botany 96, 507-518.

Adams JM, Green WA and Zhang Y (2008) Leaf margins and temperature in the North American flora: Recalibrating the paleoclimatic thermometer. Global and Planetary Change 60, 523-534.

Ramírez-Orduña R, Ramírez RG, Romero-Vadillo E, González-Rodríguez H, Armenta-Quintana JA and Avalos-Castro R (2008) Diet and nutrition of range goats on a sarcocaulescent shrubland from Baja California Sur, Mexico. Small Ruminant Research 76, 166-176.

Tobe H and Raven PH (2008) Embryology of Koeberlinia (Koeberliniaceae): Evidence for core-Brassicalean affinities. Am. J. Botany 95, 1475-1486.

Bestelmeyer BT, Trujillo DA, Tugel AJ and Havstad KM (2006) A multi-scale classification of vegetation dynamics in arid lands: What is the right scale for models, monitoring, and restoration? Journal of Arid Environments 65, 296-318.

Pidgeon AM, Radeloff VC and Mathews NE (2006) Contrasting measures of fitness to classify habitat quality for the black-throated sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata). Biological Conservation 132, 199-210.

Ronse De Craene LP and Haston E (2006) The systematic relationships of glucosinolate-producing plants and related families: a cladistic investigation based on morphological and molecular characters. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 151, 453-494.

Gibbens RP, McNeely RP, Havstad KM, Beck RF and Nolen B (2005) Vegetation changes in the Jornada Basin from 1858 to 1998. Journal of Arid Environments 61, 651-668.

Holmgren CA, Peñalba MC, Rylander KA and Betancourt JL (2003) A 16,000 14C yr B.P. packrat midden series from the USA–Mexico Borderlands. Quaternary Research 60, 319-329.

Betancourt JL, Aasen Rylander K, Peñalba C and McVickar JL (2001) Late Quaternary vegetation history of Rough Canyon, south-central New Mexico, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 165, 71-95.

Chen S and Andreasson E (2001) Update on glucosinolate metabolism and transport. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 39, 743-758.

Ramı́rez-Bribiesca JE, Tórtora JL, Huerta M, Aguirre A and Hernández LM (2001) Diagnosis of selenium status in grazing dairy goats on the Mexican plateau. Small Ruminant Research 41, 81-85.


Thompson RS and Anderson KH (2000) Biomes of western North America at 18,000, 6000 and 0 14C yr bp reconstructed from pollen and packrat midden data. Journal of Biogeography 27, 555-584.

Gile LH, Gibbens RP and Lenz JM (1998) Soil-induced variability in root systems of creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) and tarbush (Flourensia cernua). Journal of Arid Environments 39, 57-78.

Gile LH, Gibbens RP and Lenz JM (1997) The near-ubiquitous pedogenic world of mesquite roots in an arid basin floor. Journal of Arid Environments 35, 39-58.

López-Portillo J, Montaña C and Ezcurra E (1996) Stem demography of Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana in vegetation arcs and associated bare areas. Journal of Vegetation Science 7, 901-910.

Gile LH, Gibbens RP and Lenz JM (1995) Soils and sediments associated with remarkable, deeply-penetrating roots of crucifixion thorn (Koeberlinia spinosaZucc.). Journal of Arid Environments 31, 137-151.

Ritchie JC (1995) Current trends in studies of long-term plant community dynamics. New Phytologist 130, 469-494.

Meyer SE, García-Moya E and Lagunes-Espinoza LdC (1992) Topographic and soil surface effects on gypsophile plant community patterns in central Mexico. Journal of Vegetation Science 3, 429-438.

Scott Anderson R and Van Devender TR (1991) Comparison of pollen and macrofossils in packrat (Neotama) middens: A chronological sequence from the Waterman mountains of southern Arizona, U.S.A. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 68, 1-28.

Montana C (1990) A floristic-structural gradient related to land forms in the southern Chihuahuan Desert. Journal of Vegetation Science 1, 669-674.

Van Devender TR, Betancourt JL and Wimberly M (1984) Biogeographic implications of a packrat midden sequence from the Sacramento Mountains, south-central New Mexico. Quaternary Research 22, 344-360.

Behnke HD and Barthlott W (1983) New evidence from the ultrastructural and micromorphological fields in angiosperm classification. Nordic Journal of Botany 3, 43-66.

Lanner RM and Van Devender TR (1981) Late Pleistocene piñon pines in the Chihuahuan Desert. Quaternary Research 15, 278-290.

Mehta IJ and Moseley MF, Jr. (1981) The floral anatomy of Koeberlinia Zucc.: systematic implications. American journal of botany. 68, 482-497.

Arp GK and Phinney DE (1980) Ecological variations in thermal infrared emissivity of vegetation. Environmental and Experimental Botany 20, 135-148.

Van Devender TR and Spaulding WG (1979) Development of Vegetation and Climate in the Southwestern United States. Science 204, 701-710.

King JE and Van Devender TR (1977) Pollen analysis of fossil packrat middens from the Sonoran Desert. Quaternary Research 8, 191-204.

McKell CM (1975) Shrubs—A Neglected Resource of Arid Lands. Science 187, 803-809.

LLOYD FE (1910) Distribution and Movements of Desert Plants. Science 31, 863-866.

Acknowledgments. In ‘Plant Systematics (Second Edition)’ (Ed.^(Eds  pp. xi-xii. (Academic Press: San Diego).

Mithen R, Bennett R and Marquez J Glucosinolate biochemical diversity and innovation in the Brassicales. Phytochemistry 71, 2074-2086.

Simpson MG 8 - Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants: Eudicots. In ‘Plant Systematics (Second Edition)’ (Ed.^(Eds  pp. 275-448. (Academic Press: San Diego).

Whitford WG and Steinberger Y Pack rats (Neotoma spp.): Keystone ecological engineers? Journal of Arid Environments 74, 1450-1455.


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Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following: for plant names: Australian Plant Name Index, Australian National Herbarium; ; The International Plant Names Index, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Harvard University Herbaria/Australian National Herbarium; Plants Database, United States Department of Agriculture, National Resources Conservation Service;DJ Mabberley (1997) The Plant Book, Cambridge University Press (Second Edition); JH Wiersma and B Leon (1999) World Economic Plants, CRC Press; RJ Hnatiuk (1990) Census of Australian Vascular Plants, Australian Government Publishing Service; for information: Science Direct; Wiley Online Library; High Wire; Oxford Journals; USDA National Agricultural Library; for synonyms: The Plant List; for common names:; etc.

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Latest update March 2017 by: ANCW