Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rhus integrifolia--Lemonadeberry--Anacardiaceae

This shrub is called "Lemonadeberry" because the berries can be used to make a drink a bit like lemonade. It is flowering now at the UC Botanical Garden. Beautiful pink and white fragrant flowers!

Rhus is in the same family as poison oak. If you get the sap on your skin, it can cause an allergic reaction.

The fallen leaves can be used to make a brown dye. Oil extracted from the seeds can be used to make candles.

R. integrifolia can grow 3-25' tall and can make a nice hedge. Deer resistant. I guess maybe they are allergic to it, too. Birds eat the fruit, and butterflies use the nectar. It is frost tender, but otherwise easy to grow and good for erosion control. Drought tolerant. Native to coastal areas of Southern California.

1 comment:

Jeffrey said...

I understood that it is a foodplant for Walters' Saturnia Moth. I'd love to hear about which species of butterflies may seek nectar at its flowers.