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Carried by 11 nurseries
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Plant type



3 - 30 ft Tall
3 - 20 ft Wide


Mounding, Rounded

Growth rate

Fast, Moderate






Pink, White

Flowering season

Winter, Spring

Common uses

Bank stabilization, Deer resistant, Hedge

Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia) is an evergreen shrub or small tree. It tends to grow upright (10- 30 feet tall) but sprawls next to beaches. It is often found in coastal canyons below elevations of 900 meters, where it sometimes dominates entire hillsides. There is a small inland population on Mount Palomar at over 1000 meters. The Lemonade Berry's petioles are pink or brownish and leaf blades are leathery, ranging from two to four centimeters wide and five to seven centimeters in length. Leaves are toothed or not with a waxy appearance above and a paler tone below. The flowers, which appear from February to May, are small but noticeable. The glandular fruit is red to gray and has a tart flavor, which gives the plant its name. Lemonade Berry is an important wildlife plant. The berries are a significant food source for birds and small mammals.

Lemonade Berry is hardy, making it easy to grow and maintain. Once established, will stay green and healthy looking year round without any supplementary summer water. It is a great plan for bank stabilization, and serves as fire retardant. Lemonade Berry is very closely related to Sugar Bush. A good rule of thumb for landscaping applications is within 5-10 miles of the coast, Lemonade Berry is a better choice. More inland, Sugar Bush does better.


Partial Shade, Full Sun


Low, Very Low

Summer irrigation

Max 2x / month once established

Ease of care


Cold tolerance

Tolerates cold to 25° F

Soil drainage


Soil description

Many soil types.
Soil PH: 5.0 - 8.0


Takes pruning very well; may be pruned or sheared as desired at any time of year. May be pruned as a hedge or tree form


For propagating by seed: Hot water. For maximum germination, soak in concentrated H2S04 for 4-6 hrs., depending on seed batch and age.

Sunset Zones

8, 9, 14*, 15, 16*, 17*, 19, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), Scrub Oaks, Chaparral Mallow (Malacothamnus fasciculatus), Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina), California Encelia, California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica), Yucca spp., various cactus species

California Sagebrush

Artemisia californica


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Chaparral Mallow

Malacothamnus fasciculatus

Laurel Sumac

Malosma laurina


Butterflies and moths supported

2 confirmed and 11 likely

Confirmed Likely

Western Avocado Leafroller Moth

Amorbia cuneana

Caloptilia ovatiella

Cochisea sinuaria

Spotted Dantana

Datana perspicua

Site type

Coastal canyon slopes and flats, foothills

Plant communities

Chaparral, Coastal Scrub, Foothill Woodland, Lowland Chaparral, Montane Chaparral, Southern Coastal Scrub