UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County


Shrub- Coffeeberry

Coffeeberry photo by David Hofmann
Common Name:  Coffeeberry

Botanical Name:  Rhamnus californica

Family:  Rhamnaceae

Description:  Evergreen shrub, native from Oregon coast to Baja California and Arizona

Sun: full sun to moderate shade

Water: drought tolerant; minimal water after established

Soil: sandy loam to some clay, dry flats, moist slopes, ravines, and rocky ridges, usually at elevations below 5,500 feet

Habit and form: 3 to 15 feet by 8 feet wide; rapid grower with dark red branches; reddish tint on long dark green leaves; leaves curl under at edges

Flower type: clusters of green or white star shaped inconspicuous flowers turning to pea-sized red berries

Flower color and season of bloom: flowers in spring with berries from July through November; berries turn from green to red to black (where the name “coffeeberry” comes from)

Uses, if any, for plant and/or flowers: commonly seen as an understory plant below coastal oak scrubs and other small trees. Berries are useful as food for birds

Pruning time and method: minimal pruning removing dead, diseased and crossed branches

Top of page

If you can’t find the answer on the site, don’t despair! We also have the capacity to personally assist you through our hotline.  Just contact us by email or by phone (voicemail) at 949 809-9760 and we will respond to your inquiry.
UCCE Master Gardeners of Orange County, California

Weeds/PestsOrnamental PlantsEdible PlantsSoils/Fertilizers/CompostGeneral Gardening | Contact Us
MG Sign-in

Webmaster Email: remusser@ucanr.edu