PLANT: Shrubs 1.5-4 m (oursless than 2 m) tall. STEMS: gray-green, glabrous, ascending, sometimes branching from base. LEAVES: evergreen, alternate, with petioles 2-3 mm long; blades obovate to ovate, 7-20 mm long, 8-15 mm wide, toothed or entire, glabrous, flat; apex obtuse to emarginate. FLOWERS: petals absent, with pedicels 2-3 mm long. FRUITS: red at maturity, 3-5 mm long. - NOTES: Dry washes and canyons: Pima co.; 640-1,100 m (2,100-3600 ft); Mar-Apr; CA. REFERENCES: Kyle Christie, Michael Currie, Laura Smith Davis, Mar-Elise Hill, Suzanne Neal, and Tina Ayers, 2006 Vascular Plants of Arizona: Rhamnaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 23-46.
Christie et al. 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: redberry buckthorn Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree General: Spreading, much branched shrub 1.5-4 m, most less than 2 m; gray-green stems, glabrous, ascending, sometimes branching from base. Leaves: Evergreen, alternate, with petioles 2-3 mm long; blades obovate to ovate, 7-20 mm long, 8-15 mm wide, toothed or entire, glabrous, flat, apex obtuse to emarginate. Flowers: Mostly dioecious, but some perfect flowers; calyx lobes usually 4, rarely 5, 1.5-2 mm long; petals absent, with pedicels 2-3 mm long; staminate larger and brighter yellow than pistillate ones. Fruits: Obovoid to globose red berries 3-5 mm long. Ecology: Found in dry washes and canyons from 2,000-3,500 ft (610-1067 m); flowers March-April. Notes: This species can be told apart from R. ilicifolia by its smaller, narrower, mostly serrulate to almost entire leaves, whereas R. ilicifolia has holly-like leaves. Ethnobotany: The berries are edible. Etymology: Rhamnus is a Greek name for buckthorn, while crocea means saffron colored. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010