California Buckthorn (Rhamnus californica)

Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae) | Broadleaf Evergreen Trees and Shrubs plant group | Also known as Coffeeberry, Frangula californica
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California buckthorn is an attractive, evergreen shrub, between 3 to 12 feet in height. The branches may have a reddish tinge and the new twigs are often red in color. The leaves are dark green above and paler on the undersides and alternately arranged. Flowers bloom in May and June, are small, greenish and occur in clusters.

Identification Hints

Find California buckthorn in oak woodland and chaparral habitats west of the Sierra Nevada in California.  It can also be found in southwest Oregon and is naturalized on the island of Hawai’i.

Did You Know?

California buckthorn is often called coffeeberry because its berries (fruits) contain two nut-like seeds that look like coffee beans. After a fire or other disturbance such as cutting that removes the above ground stems, etc., the plants sprouts vigorously from buds on the root crown. Individual plants can live 100 to 200 years.

Distribution in the US
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