Coffeeberry is an upright evergreen shrub to
small tree growing to 15' tall with bright gray or brown stems and glabrous
to finely hairy, generally reddish-barked young twigs. The leaves
are alternate, oblong to lance-elliptic, somewhat revolute, entire to
serrate, usually shining and glabrous above and glabrous or with a few
hairs beneath, and with prominent veins on the under surface and acute
to rounded tips. They are usually from 1" to 3" long
and on a 3/8" petiole. The flowers are greenish, bisexual,
in axillary clusters and 5-merous. The style is included and there
are 5 stamens that are just barely exserted. The fruit is a somewhat
elongate to globose berry roughly 3/8" in diameter, green or black
and becoming red when ripe, containing mostly two green to brownish
seeds. Coffeeberry is quite abundant and is commonly found on
dry slopes in chaparral, coastal sage scrub and coastal strand below
3500' (to 6000'), usually in shade and frequently near streams, blooming
from May to July. The first four pictures were taken in Eaton Canyon near
Altadena, and the fifth at Lightning Ridge in the San Gabriel Mts.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Frangula 2) californica.
Pronunciation: FRANG-gyu-la ka-li-FOR-ni-ka.
Click here for Botanical
Formerly Rhamnus californica ssp. californica.