Rhus integrifolia

Lemonade berry

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 16' X 16'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



This California sumac grows wild from Santa Barbara County into northwestern Baja. It grows further inland as one moves south in its range, but it is replaced by sugar bush, Rhus ovata, in interior regions. It is also common on the Channel Islands and the Pacific Islands of Mexico down to Cedros Island. The Pacific influence protects lemonade berry from extreme cold. It grows as a mounding shrub, wider than tall. Lemonade berry grows with a fairly open structure, revealing attractive gray bark. The oval leaves are leathery and often slightly cupped. The flowers are white or pink and yield flattened red berries that persist on the shrub for many months. The berries are a little sweet and “tangy” and can be steeped in water for a tea of sorts. Lemonade berry is one of our outstanding shrubs and should be considered where heavy frost is not an issue.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen