Rhamnus californica ssp. occidentalis

California coffeeberry

Habit: depending on its location this fast growing multi stemmed evergreen shrub can be upright and rounded or low and spreading. When grown in inland areas or sheltered canyons it can spread to 26 ft (8 m) wide. The young red bark presents a nice contrast against the lustrous dark green leaves, which curl under at the edges. The greenish yellow flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer are small and produced in clusters of 5-60 in the leaf axils. The fruit ripens from whitish yellow to red and finally black giving it the appearance of coffee beans.

Ecology: grows in Southern Oregon and Northern California in chaparral zones, foothill slopes and dry oak woodlands up to 7500 ft (2300 m).

Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, preferring coarse well drained soil, after first year very low maintenance.

Can be grown as a tall hedge 8-10 ft (2.5-3 m).


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Type: Evergreen Shrub
Height: 7-10 ft (2-3 m)
Width: 7-26 ft (2-8 m)
USDA Zones: 7-10
Map courtesy of USDA-NRCS Plants Database.