Rhamnus californica


Rhamnus californica [syn. Frangula californica] is a common shrub found in both chaparral and wooded areas. It usually grows 6 to 10 feet high in garden conditions, but it is often taller in the wild. Coffeeberry is evergreen with wine-colored berries in the summer. Plant it in full sun to partial shade; it is tolerant of dry conditions. It is attractive with Black Sage and Sticky Monkeyflower.

Wildlife value: Songbirds, including the California Bluebird, Mockingbird, Phainopepla, and California Thrasher, relish the fruits and swarm the shrubs when the berries are ripe. Several mammals, including Black Bears and Black-tailed Deer, also eat the berries and browse the foliage. Woodrats occasionally eat the seeds. Rhamnus plants also attract butterflies and beneficial insects.