Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database




Rhus ovata

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Rhus ovata
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Rhus ovata
Rhus ovata
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Rhus ovata
Rhus ovata
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Rhus ovata

Species Name: Rhus ovata
Common Name: Sugarbush

Durable, drought tolerant and good for erosion control. Dense evergreen foliage makes this a nice choice for an informal hedge. Attractive flowers and edible berries.

Plant Family: Anacardiaceae
Plant Type: Shrub
Height by Width: 8-15' H x 10' W
Growth Habit: Dense shrub
Deciduous/Evergreen: Evergreen
Growth Rate: Slow to establish, then fast
Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
Soil Preference: Well-draining
Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional
Cold Hardy to: 15 degrees F
Flower Season: Spring
Flower Color: White/Pink
Endangered?: Not Listed
Distribution: Throughout the Southwest, Arizona, Baja
Natural Habitat: Canyons, generally south facing slopes, chaparral

Image:songbird_iconA.jpg Image:slope_iconA.jpg


Care and Maintenance


History
  • Introduced into cultivation in California by Theodore Payne.
  • From California Native Plants, Theodore Payne's 1941 catalog: "An exceedingly handsome shrub with rich dark green leathery leaves, bearing in late winter and spring many clusters of reddish pink buds which open into pink or white flowers. its foliage is perhaps its greatest appeal, being a rich deep green the year round. It grows into a fair sized shrub, but by cutting back severely when young it is possible to form a low spreading mass of foliage only a few feet high. It will stand much more cold than either [Malosma laurina or Rhus integrifolia], at the same time it will stand almost any amount of heat and drought. one of the very best of our native shrubs. Gallon cans, 60c; 5 gallon cans, $1.75."
Other Names
References
  • Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O'Brien. California Native Plants for the Garden. Los Olivos, CA: Cachuma Press. 2005.
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