It is native to the mountains and plateau areas of northern and eastern California and western Nevada, including the Sierra Nevada and Klamath Mountains, where it grows in many habitat types, including forests, chaparral, and sagebrush.
Rhamnus rubra is a spreading shrub approaching two meters in maximum height, its bark red or gray. The thin, deciduous leaves are generally oval in shape, green to grayish in color, and up to 8 centimeters long. The edges are smooth or faintly toothed. The inflorescence is an umbel of up to 15 flowers with five pointed sepals opening into a starlike shape and five smaller, greenish petals. The fruit is a drupe which ripens to black. It measures just over a centimeter long and contains 2 seeds.
- Jepson Manual Treatment - Rhamnus rubra
- USDA Plants Profile: Rhamnus rubra
- Rhamnus rubra - Photo gallery
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