Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara,
This interesting deciduous tree makes a novel addition to the garden.
Found along the Pacific coast from BC to northern California, in USDA zones 7-9, Cascara favors moist locations such as riverbanks.
It often reaches 50’ but sometimes grows as a shrub to only 15.’
The dark green, glossy leaves are highly decorative and stand out against the small, green-white flowers that form in loose clusters.
Birds relish the cherry-like fruit but they are potentially toxic to humans and should be avoided.
In late autumn, the leaves turn a delicate yellow and persist through many a winter storm. The cured bark is used extensively as a potent laxative. This tree can be cut down close to the soil line and it usually will re-sprout and form a new tree.