Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara)


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Plant Description: Commonly found growing as a small tree, occasionally more shrub like. The bark is gray and smooth to the touch. Shiny green leaves clustered near the ends of twigs are oval with veins indenting the leaf to make the surface wavy. The leaves are typically deciduous, although in warmer climates the plant can hold onto them as though they were semi-deciduous. Leaves turn light orange to yellow in the fall. Foliage is great for use in bouquets. 

The flowers of this plant are small and greenish yellow, borne in the leaf axils in loose clusters. The Cascara Buckthorn's small, edible berries start out bright red and quickly ripen to bluish black. *NEVER CONSUME PLANTS WITHOUT PROPER ID*

  • Height: 10-32 ft
  • Width: 6-26 ft
  • Watering needs: Moist to semi-dry
  • Sun needs: Full sun to full shade
  • Soil needs: Moist, well-draining soil
  • Bloom Time: May-June
  • Ripening Time: August-September

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is found along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia south into California, and inland to Montana, in shady forests and chaparral woodlands under 6500 ft. Great for woodland and rain gardens as well as in food forests. 

This plant attracts pollinators, birds, and beneficial insects. Birds love the berries in particular.

*Photos by SevenOaks Nursery*

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