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Frangula

Rhamnaceae
Deciduous, Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Form and foliage make these excel as background plantings, especially since the clusters of small flowers are rather inconspicuous. Berries (typically pea size) are enjoyed by birds; volunteer seedlings may be a nuisance.

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus

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Frangula alnus

Native to Europe, western Asia, and north Africa. Grows to 10–12 ft. (possibly 18 ft.) tall and wide. Oval to roundish, glossy dark green leaves to 3 in. long turn yellow in autumn. Berries ripen from red to black.

Frangula californica
Frangula californica

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Frangula californica

Native to California, southwest Oregon, and Arizona. Grows to 3–15 ft. tall, 8 ft. wide. Grown near the ocean, plant may have a low, spreading habit; in woodlands, it grows upright. Leaves are 1–3 in. long, variable—shiny or dull, dark green to yellowish green, usually paler on the undersides (some forms have gray, hairy leaf undersides). Berries turn from green to red to black as they ripen. Low-growing, groundcover varieties are available.

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