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Bush Rue
Cneoridium dumosum

About Bush Rue (Cneoridium dumosum) Cneoridium is a monotypic genus in the Rutaceae (citrus family) which contains the single species Cneoridium dumosum, known by the common name Bushrue. This is an aromatic is shrub native to the coastal bluffs of southern California and Baja California. This highly-branched shrub may exceed a meter in height and sprawl about as wide. Its twigs are covered in small linear green leaves and flowers in clusters of one to three. Each flower is just over a centimeter wide with four or five rounded white petals and eight yellow-anthered white stamens. The bunching fruits are round reddish-green berries about half a centimeter wide covered in a thin peel which is gland-pitted like that of a common citrus fruit. Each berry contains one or two spherical seeds. May cause dermatitis in some people so use with caution. In the summer, the leaves of the plant turn an attractive golden color.

This is a tough and easy to grow plant. Amazingly drought tolerant but still tolerates occasional summer water better than most plants. It prefers full sun, and tolerates a wide variety of soil types. In the summer, its leaves turn an attractive golden color, and will green back up after the rainy season begins.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.3 - 5 ft (1 - 1.5 m)

Max. Width
3 - 5 ft (0.9 - 1.5 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate
Moderate, Slow

Evergreen, Summer Semi-Deciduous

Leaves are deep green and glossy in Winter and early Spring, becoming golden yellow to brown going into Summer depending on temperature, sun exposure and moisture retention of soil

Flower Color
White, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Mesas, bluffs, canyons and marine terraces of San Diego and Orange Counties as well as Baja California, Mexico, where it is a component of Southern Maritime Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, or Maritime Succulent Scrub.


Elevation ?
-2' - 4033'

Annual Precip. ?
9.6" - 25.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 1.59"

Coldest Month ?
41.6° F - 56.7° F

Hottest Month ?
69.0° F - 78.4° F

Humidity ?
1.25 vpd - 24.27 vpd

Soil Description
Often but not always found on eroded gabbro or sandstone soils

Soil Texture
Clay Loam, Loamy Sand, Sand, Sandy Clay, Sandy Clay Loam, Sandy Loam

Soil PH
6.0 - 8.0

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Sunset Zones ?
8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds and insects are attracted to the flowers. Various birds and small mammals are attracted to the fruits.

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low, Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: 1-2 mos. stratification.

Common uses
Groundcovers, Bank Stabilization

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names

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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