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RHAMNACEAE

BUCKTHORN FAMILY

John O. Sawyer, Jr. (except Ceanothus)

Shrub, vine, tree, generally erect, often thorny
Leaves simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots, generally petioled, generally stipuled; blade often 1–3-ribbed from base
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5, clawed; stamens 4 or 5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 2–5, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes or parts 1–3
Fruit: capsule, drupe
Genera in family: 55 genera, 900 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated (Ceanothus ; Colletia , anchor-plant; Gouania ; Phylica ; Rhamnus ; Ventilago ; Ziziphus )
Reference: [Brizicky 1965 J Arnold Arbor 45:439–463]

RHAMNUS

BUCKTHORN

Shrub, small tree
Stem: branches alternate, flexible; twigs sometimes thorn-tipped
Leaves sometimes clustered on short-shoots, deciduous or evergreen, petioled; stipules deciduous; blade 1-ribbed from base, entire or not
Inflorescence: umbel or flowers solitary, axillary
Flower bisexual or unisexual, generally < 3 mm; hypanthium at base fused to, developing around ovary in fruit, above base deciduous; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5; stamens 4 or 5; ovary appearing partly inferior, chambers 2–4, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes 2–4
Fruit: drupe, 2–4-stoned
Species in genus: 125 species: temp, few tropical
Etymology: (Greek: name for plants of this genus)
Reference: [Wolf 1938 Rancho Santa Ana Bot Gard Monogr 1]
Some of value in medicine or as dyes.

Native

R. pirifolia Greene

ISLAND REDBERRY

Tree < 10 m
Stem: bark gray; branches ascending; twigs purple; terminal bud scales 3 mm
Leaves evergreen; petiole 5–10 mm; blade 20–40 mm, elliptic, thick, base rounded, tip acute to rounded, with a small point, margin toothed to entire, surfaces glabrous, lower concave, veins prominent
Inflorescence 1–6-flowered; pedicels 3–6 mm
Flower unisexual; hypanthium 2 mm; sepals 4; petals 0; style exserted
Fruit 2-stoned, 8 mm, red
Ecology: Coastal-sage scrub, chaparral
Elevation:
Bioregional distribution: Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: Mexico (Guadalupe Island)
Synonyms: R. crocea subsp. p. (Greene) C. Wolf
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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