Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Rhamnaceae

Sonoran Desert Buckthorns

Woody shrubs or small trees. Often with sharp thorns. Fruit often a small, dark berry. Elyptic leaves alternate. Several species.


Ziziphus obtusifolia

Bitter Condalia

Condalia globosa

Pen & Ink © by Mike Plagens

Very thorny shrub along washes and near riparian areas. Smooth gray-green twigs and thorns. Small cream colored flowers and smallish blue-black berries. May have more leaves following rainy periods. Common.   Detailed Description

Photo © by Mike Plagens

Large woody shrub or small, gnarled tree with sharp thorns. Usu. along washes or canyons, but mostly uncommon. Nice specimens at Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona. Dark blue-black berries.   Detailed Description


Colubrina californica

Warnock's Snakewood

Condalia warnockii

Pen & Ink © by Mike Plagens

Rare shrub found in canyons or deep, watered washes. Spatulate leaves. No sharp thorns.   Detailed Description

Pen & Ink © by Mike Plagens

Large shrub of eastern Pima and Pinal Counties and hence eastward into Chihuahuan. Small spatulate leaves have prominent veins on underside of leaf. Red berries ripening to black. Very sharp, straight thorns.   Detailed Description

Sponsored Links:

Holly-leaf Buckthorn

Rhamnus crocea

California Buckthorn

Frangula californica

Rhamnus crocea photo by Mike Plagens

Woody shrub of chaparral that is found in canyon and hillsides at upper elevations of Sonoran Desert. Bright red berries and holly-shaped leaves.   Detailed Description

Frangula californica photo by Mike Plagens

Shrub or small tree in shady canyons at higher elevations in the Sonoran Desert. Black berries and no thorns. Elyptic, evergreen leaves. Detailed Description

Sponsored Links:

Sonoran Desert Places


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009