Rhus ovata

Sugar bush

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 20' X 20'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



The sugar bush is one of California’s most attractive shrubs. The large dark green leaves are leathery in texture. The branches start a mahogany color and develop a gray hue with maturity. The form is rounded. While it may grow quite large in its native habitats, in our region (Santa Clara County) it seems to grow to 8 feet or so. Flower clusters of red and white appear in fall, followed by drupes of red disc-shaped fruit. These contrast wonderfully with the leaves and bark. Native to coastal and interior coastal mountains from Santa Barbara County south into Baja.


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