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Rhamnus crocea (Redberry buckthorn)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Rhamnus crocea

Rhamnus crocea Nutt.

Redberry Buckthorn, Holly-leaf Buckthorn, Redberry

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A spreading, much-branched shrub from 2-12 ft. tall with small, dark gray-green leaves. The clusters of cream-colored flowers are followed by showy, red berries.


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Dark Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Yellowish, yellowish green, green or greenish white to white.


Native Distribution: Coast Ranges from Lake to San Diego Cos., CA
Native Habitat: Dry washes & canyons below 3000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Will not bear berries if under stress.


Use Ornamental: Pretty red fruit. Makes a good hedge.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Hermes Copper
(Lycaena hermes)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Description: Germination of seeds is easy. Cuttings are difficult. Seeds should be cleaned of pulp before sowing.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment seems necessary. If seeds have been stored, dormancy can be broken with a cool-moist stratification period.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Rhamnus crocea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Rhamnus crocea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Rhamnus crocea


Record Modified: 2023-02-24
Research By: TWC Staff

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