Arizona Naturalists >>>
Sycamore Gallery Flora >>> Rhamnaceae >>> Rhamnus ilicifolia
Photographed in Rackensack Canyon, Maricopa Co., Arizona. July 2008.
SHRUB: Woody, evergreen shrub from one to a few
meters tall and in diameter. Fire-adapted - regrows readily after brush
fire from below-ground roots/stems.
LEAVES: Oval leaves with accuminate
serrations. Upper surface is shiny and the blades are often curled partially
shielding the undersurface.
FRUIT: Bright red berries with usu. two hard seeds. With the holly-like
leaves this makes for a very attractive plant, and indeed it has recieved
attention from horticulturists. Xerically adapted varieties are possible.
RANGE: A shrub of chaparral and ponderosa zones primarily; within
sycamore woodlands, it occurs on terraces and adjacent partially shaded slopes.
Some taxonomists have elevated the Holly-leaf Buckthorn subspecies to full
species level: Rhamnus ilicifolia.
ARMED. The leaf spine tips are variably sharp. Unlike many buckthorns
the woody stems are mostly without stout thorns (occasionally a few).
FLOWERS: Smallish cream to yellow
flowers have four, pointed petals and four stamens.
Rhamnaceae -- Buckthorn Family
The Flora of
Arizona's Sycamore Canyons