Rhamnaceae (buckthorn family) Rhamnus

Rhamnus alaternus Italian buckthorn

Rhamnus alaternus leaf, showing secondary veins festooned (looped together at their ends). John Rawlings, ca. 2005

Like the coffeeberry that grows in the hills near Stanford, the evergreen Italian buckthorn has 2-inch lanceolate, leathery, glossy leaves, with sparse teeth and with a paler color below, and clusters of ¼-inch fruits that are red before turning black. Two rows, running toward Old Anatomy, are growing at the northwest corner of the Cantor Center. Curiously, this plant is under pest control in New Zealand. It can be weedy in wild areas of campus.

California coffeeberry, R. californica, is widely planted on campus in a shrub form and can be seen at several locations on Serra Street, including the Art Gallery and Sequoia Hall. At Stanford Sierra Camp one may see R. rubra, the Sierra coffeeberry.

Illustrations: branchlet.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. John Rawlings added the note on weediness on campus ca. 2005.