Plant FinderPlant Finder Graphic
Rhus integrifolia
Rhus integrifolia

Click to Enlarge

Zone
Zones 8, 9, 14-17, 19-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular WaterMinimal Water
Moderate, Minimal

Rhus integrifolia

Lemonade Berry
Anacardiaceae
Evergreen, Ground covers, Shrubs

RHUS

Of the ornamental sumacs, deciduous kinds are extremely hardy to cold; they are noted for brilliant fall leaf color and, on female plants, showy clusters of (usually) red fruits that attract birds. They tend to produce suckers, especially if their roots are disturbed by cultivation. Evergreen species are less hardy. All sumac species thrive in almost any soil, as long as drainage is good (soggy soils can kill them).

Poison oak and poison ivy were once members of the genus Rhus, but they have been reclassified as Toxicodendron.

Rhus integrifolia

Evergreen shrub. Native to coastal Southern California, Channel Islands, and Baja California. Generally grows 3–10 ft. tall and wide; rarely tree-like to 30 ft. Leathery dark green leaves are oval to nearly round, 1–2 1/2 in. long. White or pinkish flowers in dense clusters from midwinter to spring (sometimes from early winter into summer). Clustered small, flattish fruits are reddish and gummy, with tart pulp that can be used to flavor drinks, hence the common name.

Grows best near the coast, where established plants need no irrigation. Makes a wonderful groundcover on rocky slopes exposed to salt-laden winds; one plant eventually sprawls over a wide area, even down cliffs. In less windy places, use as a tall screen or background plant. Excellent for espalier against fences and walls. Can be trimmed to make a dense formal hedge and maintained just under a foot wide. Useful in erosion control. Highly susceptible to verticillium wilt.

You Might Also Like...

Adenanthos

Australian natives valued for their unusual foliage and flowers. Kinds with furry, silvery, finely div...

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’

From 3–6 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide. Glossy, medium green, 2-in. leaves. Dark blue flower clusters; pr...

Salvia uliginosa

Perennial, from moist lowlands in South America. Upright, dense grower to 4–6 ft. tall and 3&nda...

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

Find Your Sunset Climate Zone

View Maps Learn More

Advertisement