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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lemonadeberry (Lemonade sumac) – Rhus integrifolia

Lemonadeberry (Rhus integrifolia).  Entrance to Garden of Dreams.
CSU Dominguez Hills

We have several Lemonadeberry shrubs growing on the CSUDH campus.  This is a true Southern California shrub, growing from south of Santa Barbara to Baja California, Mexico.   While primarily a coastal species, it ranges east to Riverside County, appearing in the Coastal Strand, Coastal Sage Scrub and Chaparral plant communities.   Typically it grows in drier canyons, either on north-facing slopes or slopes/bluffs facing the ocean.  A lowland species, Lemonadeberry is rarely found above about 2500 ft. (900 m.) elevation, its distribution likely limited by freezing temperatures.

Lemonadeberry is a large evergreen shrub, reaching a maximal height of 6-10 ft. in protected areas and 2-3 ft. along the immediate coast.  It is usually somewhat wider than tall, spreading to as much as 10-12 ft. in diameter in favored spots.  Interestingly, it can be kept to a much smaller size with regular pruning
CSUDH student measures Lemonadeberry.  Palos Verdes peninsula.

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