Colubrina californica

Colubrina californica Pen & Ink illustration by Michael Plagens

Pen and ink from live specimen found at Superstition Mountains, Arizona.

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RANGE: Rare in Arizona. Found in just a few isolated Sonoran Desert locations.

SHRUB: A medium to large shrub with stiff, intricate branches.

FRUIT: Spherical capsule is fairly hard and has three valves. Photo below.

LEAVES: Small, ovate to spatulate leaves.

FLOWERS: Small, whitish-yellow and born in a panicle of about a dozen flowers. Attractive to bees. Flowers late spring.

UNARMED.  Unlike many similar looking shrubs this one lacks thorns.  Some short stiff twigs, but no sharps.

Colubrina californica photo by Michael Plagens

Rhamnaceae -- Buckthorn Family

More Info:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 4 Dec. 2005,
updated 11 July 2021.