Lemonade berry

Rhus integrifolia


The Lemonade berry grows into a large evergreen shrub with flexible stems and sprawling habit to 25 ft. tall and as wide. Thick dark green leaves have grow 1-2 in. long; some have blunt teeth on margins. Attractive clusters of white to rose colored flowers are noticeable in late winter to early spring. The hard fruit are often of curious interest as they are covered with a fuzzy coating that tastes of bitter lemon.

Lemonade berry is native to coastal bluffs and inland foothills and offshore islands from Santa Barbara County to northern Baja California. It grows in sunny locations, on well-drained soils, at elevations below 3,000 ft. and within the coastal sage scrub and chaparral plant communities. It is a widely adaptable plant that is often used in combination with other California native species on slopes and in open spaces for revegetation and habitat value. In ornamental gardens it can be clipped to function as a large screen or hedge, and mixed with plants of the Coast Live Oak Palette.

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Upright, Mounding, Dense
Growth Rate: Moderate
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: White
Flower Season: Winter, Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Fog, Drought, Coastal salt air, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Slopes, Screening, Restoration, Parks and open space, Background plant, Attracts butterflies, Hedge
Height: 25 ft.
Width: 25 ft.