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Cascara Sagrada
Frangula purshiana
  
About Cascara Sagrada (Frangula purshiana) 6 Nurseries Carry This Plant Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara Buckthorn, Cascara, Bearberry, and in the Chinook Jargon, Chittam or Chitticum; syn. Frangula purshiana, Rhamnus purshianus) is a species of buckthorn native to western North America from southern British Columbia south to central California, and inland to western Montana. It is the largest species of buckthorn, occasionally growing up to 15 meter tall, though more commonly a large shrub or small tree 5-10 meter tall, with a trunk 20-50 centimeter in diameter. The bark is brownish to silver-grey with light splotching. The leaves are deciduous, alternate, clustered near the ends of twigs; they are oval, 5-15 centimeter long and 2-5 centimeter broad with a 0.6-2 centimeter petiole, dark shiny green on top, fuzzy and paler green below. The flowers are tiny, 4-5 millimeter diameter, with five greenish yellow petals; the flowering season is brief, disappearing by early summer. The fruit is a berry 6-10 millimeter diameter, bright red at first, quickly maturing deep purple or black, and containing three seeds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
20 - 49.2 ft tall
12 ft wide

Form
Form
Upright

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Slow

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
White, Green, Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring

Wildlife Supported
 
Butterflies (including the Pale Swallowtail), many other beneficial insects and birds.

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 8 confirmed , 27 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 3x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow, Standing

Soil Description
Soil Description
Quite adaptable to a wide variety of soil types. Soil PH: 4 - 7

Common uses
Common uses
Bank Stabilization, Bird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Other plants of western coniferous forest understories such as Red Alder (Alus Rubra), Vine Maple (Acer circinatum), Redosier Dogwood (Cornus sericea), and Orange Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa).

Maintenance
Maintenance
Non-specific host to the fungus Phytophthora ramorum (which causes sudden oak death).

Propagation
Propagation?
Propagate from seeds (3 month stratification) or by cuttings taken from half-ripe to mature wood in late summer or fall.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Varied, but generally in low-montana forested areas in moist canyons, swamps, and bottomlands.

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 15.3" - 151.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.22" - 5.78", Coldest Month: 30.6" - 51.8", Hottest Month: 51.9" - 73.5", Humidity: 0.01" - 23.82", Elevation: 3" - 7349"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Rhamnus purshiana
Common Names: Cascara Annona-leaved Buckthorn, Cascara Buckthorn, Pursh's 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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