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Gardening sheet rhamnus illicifolia


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Gardening information for Holly-leaf redberry.

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Gardening sheet rhamnus illicifolia

  1. 1. Holly-leaf redberry – Rhamnus ilicifolia (RAM-nus il-is-i-FO-lee-a) Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family) Native to: Much of western CA as well as AZ, NV and Baja CA. Locally in Santa Monica & San Gabriel Mtns; mostly on dry slopes below 6000' in yellow pine forest and chaparral. Growth characteristics: woody shrub mature height: 6-12 ft. mature width: 6-15 ft. Evergreen woody shrub or small tree with holly-like leaves that are medium to dark green. Shape is rounded to irregular. Many stiff branches create a dense foliage. Gray bark. Very slow growing. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring – usually Feb. to May at lower elevations. Flowers small, yellow- green, in clusters that are almost unnoticeable except for the pollinators they attract. Plants are either self-fertile female or true male or female (dioecious), so best to plant several for fruit. Fruit is a red (ripens to dark red) berry that ripens in fall. Fruit edible, raw or cooked, in small quantities. Uses in the garden: Dense foliage makes this plant good for foundation plants, background shrubs or hedges/hedgerows. Takes well to pruning and shaping. Does well on dry slopes. Often planted as habitat plant. Fruits can stain concrete. Hardy and adaptable. Fine under water-wise trees. Native Californians use root/bark tea for colds, other & for skin sores. Smoke inhaled for headaches. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs. Attracts: Excellent habitat plant: provides nectar and pollen for spring pollinators (including butterflies), cover and fruits for birds like Robins, Finches, Towhees and Jays. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun (coast); part-shade to fairly shady elsewhere Soil Most local soils (in wild, mostly in rocky or sandy); any local pH Water Quite drought tolerant once established; Water Zone 1-2 (very occasional water) Fertilizer Not needed, particularly if organic mulch is used. Other Likes organic mulch – leaf or bark mulch. Management: Prune to shape if desired. Very slow growing – takes 3-5 years to establish. Other than that, not very demanding. Propagation: from seed: cold/moist treat 1-2 months; smoke treat by cuttings: semi-soft, hard- wood and by layering. Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1, 10-14, 16, 20, 21, 24, 25, 28 12/18/14 © Project SOUND