Oregon State University
Alphabetical List of Tree Common Names Alphabetical List of Tree Scientific Names Identification Key Mystery Tree

home > buckthorn genus > cascara buckthorn

cascara buckthorn (Rhamnus purshiana)

(click on each photo to enlarge image)
  • Size: May grow as a small tree (to 50' tall and 2' in diameter), or an erect shrub (multiple trunks to 15' tall).

  • Leaves: Simple, alternate, deciduous; oblong to elliptical; 2"-6" long; smooth, wavy or finely serrated edges; prominent, straight veins.

  • Fruit: Black, cherry-like fruit, 1/4"-1/2" in diameter.

  • Twigs: Naked winter buds (tiny, brown, hairy leaves folded around even tinier leaves).

  • Bark: Thin and grayish with chalky white patches, resembling the bark of young alder.

  • Distribution: Occurs primarily in moist shaded locations along the western coast from central California up into Canada; also in the northwestern corner of the Great Basin.

For more information about this species, see "Trees to Know in Oregon".


trees by common name trees by scientific name dichotomous key mystery tree

website authors order a book "Trees to Know" more informational sites contact us