Rhamnus tomentella (Frangula californica ssp. tomentella)

hoary coffeeberry

Habit: this evergreen shrub is similar in growth to that of California coffeeberry, with a few differences. The bark is gray to a reddish color and the leaves on hoary coffeeberry are bluish gray and tomentose (covered in small soft hairs). The flowers are small and inconspicuous producing small fruit that ripens to reddish black.

Ecology: found in California’s chaparral woodlands growing at a slightly higher elevation than common coffeeberry, under 7500 ft. (2300 m).

Growing Conditions: full sun to partial shade, grows on most soils but preferring coarse well-drained soil.

Rhamnus tomentella’s growth is mostly limited by summer heat, which it doesn’t like, and rainfall.

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Type: Evergreen Shrub
Height: 6.5-20 ft (2-6 m)
Width: 10-16 ft (3-5 m)
USDA Zones: 7-9
Map courtesy of USDA-NRCS Plants Database.