Frangula californica
Common name: 
California Coffeeberry
California Buckthorn
FRANG-gew-la kal-i-for-NI-ka
Rhamnus californica
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen shrubs, from low spreading to upright, sometimes a small tree, 4-8(20) ft (1.2-2.4(6) m) tall, often in rounded clumps.  Buds naked, brown, 3 mm long.  Leaves alternate, simple, 4-6 cm long, oblong-elliptical to oblong-ovate, usually a rounded base, margins finely serrate to entire, sometimes rolled under (revolute), dark green above, paler and smooth or pubescent below, pinnate venation, 8-12 vein pairs, lower veins rust colored; petiole 4-12 mm long.  Flowers small, greenish, few per cluster.  Fruit globose, 8 mm across, ripening from green to red then purple-black, contain 2 seeds which resemble the commercial coffee bean.
  • Sun or shade.  Not particular about soil, limited or no irrigation required, can be pruned and shaped.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7     Native range from extreme southwestern Oregon southward along the coast and Coast Ranges to southwestern California.  A shrub component of chaparral, woodland, and forest communities.  Several subspecies are recognized.
  • Several named selections available, including:
    • 'Eve Case'- broad leaves, dense, 4-8 ft, large fruit.
    • 'Seaview' - broad leaves, low growing, spreading, to 2 ft (0.6 m) tall.
    • 'Mound San Bruno' - narrow leaves, to 6 ft tall and wide.
  • Oregon State University campus: SW corner of the native plants area behind Peavy (near Driden Hall)
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit, in a landscape

    plant habit, in a landscape

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leaves


  • leaves


  • leaves and young flower clusters

    leaves and young flower clusters

  • flower cluster and leaves

    flower cluster and leaves

  • flower cluster and leaf

    flower cluster and leaf

  • leaves and young fruit

    leaves and young fruit

  • ripening fruit

    ripening fruit

  • fruiting plant habit, in woods

    fruiting plant habit, in woods

  • unripe and ripe fruit

    unripe and ripe fruit

  • trunks, bark

    trunks, bark