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Sierra Coffeeberry
Frangula rubra
About Sierra Coffeeberry (Frangula rubra) 2 Nurseries Carry This Plant Red Buckthorn (Frangula rubra) is a native shrub that grows in northern, southern and central California It is native to the mountains and plateau areas of northern and eastern California and western Nevada, including the Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains, where it grows in many habitat types, including forests, chaparral, and sagebrush.It is a spreading shrub approaching two meters in maximum height, its bark red or gray. The thin, deciduous leaves are generally oval in shape, green to grayish in color, and up to 8 centimeters long. The edges are smooth or faintly toothed. The inflorescence is an umbel of up to 15 flowers with five pointed sepals opening into a starlike shape and five smaller, greenish petals. The fruit is a drupe which ripens to black. It measures just over a centimeter long and contains 2 seeds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

3.5 - 7 ft tall

Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
Green, Black

Wildlife Supported

Landscaping Information
Part Shade


Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Hedges, Bird Gardens

For propagating by seed: 3 mos. stratification. No treatment. of fresh seeds gives fair germination.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6*, 7*, 15*, 16

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type

Annual Precipitation: 8.6" - 122.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.24" - 4.31", Coldest Month: 23.8" - 52.2", Hottest Month: 47.2" - 79.3", Humidity: 0.59" - 26.50", Elevation: 36" - 10807"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Rhamnus rubra
Common Names: Modoc Buckthorn

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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