Habit: multi stemmed, low growing, evergreen shrub with grayish brown bark that can be smooth or hairy. Leaves are round and leathery with spiny-toothed margins. Small, inconspicuous flowers are in clusters of 1-10, having 4 green sepals. Fruit is small and yellow, ripening to bight red. Flowers bloom anytime from late winter to early summer.
Ecology: found on dry open slopes, canyons, and hillsides in montane-chaparral forests, in elevations up to 6500 ft (2000 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, in dry well-drained soil.
Rhamnus illicifolia is considered a butterfly host plant, and the berries attract birds.