shrub ID

zelda77August 19, 2014

This shrub has the characteristics of Rhamnus genus and has been identified in the past as California coffeeberry, buckthorn and honeysuckle. Leaves are opposite. Flowers in spring and flowers are whiteish, very tiny and barely visible, no photo available. Berries start as green, bell or trapezoid shaped, then turn red and get rounded, finally turning dark purple or black and round. Bark is smooth, dark brown. Leaves are oval, sometimes very finely toothed, slightly glossy. Shrub is about 6-8 feet tall. It came with a 40 year old house but no one knows when it was planted. No one in the area who has seen it can provide a positive identification. I have more photos of berries and leaves but can't get multiple photos to upload. Can anyone help with an ID?

This post was edited by zelda77 on Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 19:01

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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Is it either of these? (see link). Zone 5 seems a little cold for R. californica

Here is a link that might be useful: common vs. glossy buckthorn

This post was edited by hoovb on Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 19:21

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:09PM
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zelda77

Thanks hoovb, I thought it was too cold here for R. Californica and the stem color doesn't seem right, but have never seen one except in books. I clicked the link and it didn't work, will try again.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:19PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I"m very sorry Zelda, I might have messed up the link when I cut and pasted. My keyboard does things I do not expect. I updated the link, try again. Sorry!

Here is a link that might be useful: Another buckthorn id page

This post was edited by hoovb on Tue, Aug 19, 14 at 19:24

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 7:22PM
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zelda77

Thanks hoovb, I think after looking at the information in that link that it is glossy buckthorn. I have not been able to find any tip end thorns, just a little nub where one would be, and the glossy doesn't have the thorn. I did a bunch of Google searches and didn't turn up the information you supplied. Garden Web members are a wonderful resource. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 1:55PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

It doesn't look like glossy buckthorn to me, and I have lots of it. If nothing else, the fruits or whatever a the ends of the branches look like nothing I've seen on my glossy buckthorn, but the leaves aren't quite right either in shape and veining.

Adding additional posts with photos would help. Just scroll to the bottom of this thread and post a follow-up. If you do two in a row, you need to change the Subject of posting, otherwise the website thinks you posted twice in a row by accident.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:19PM
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zelda77

Thanks nhbabs, it's good to hear from someone who actually has the glossy buckthorn. I've read that the color of the inner bark is diagnostic - is that your experience?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:43AM
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zelda77

Here's another photo. Could this be cotoneaster?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:48AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I think that the best place to post these photos would be on the Name that Plant forum. It's not cotoneaster, which has tiny leaves, but the folks on name that plant are whizzes at plant ID.

I haven't really looked at the inner bark on buckthorn, but the roots are definitely bright gold-orange, so it would make sense that the inner bark would be too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Name that Plant forum

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:29AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Definitely a cotoneaster, something that was apparent in the first photo. One on the order of Peking cotoneaster (there are around 400 species).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 5:44PM
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zelda77

Thanks bboy and nhbabs. I will follow up your suggestion and post a photo on name that plant. As the root and inner bark color are supposedly diagnostic for glossy buckthorn, tomorrow I'll take a look at them too. I do appreciate the help and suggestions and identification. You are wonderful resources.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:33PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I wouldn't bother with checking inner bark. Bboy is really good at plant ID and there is no way that those fruits are buckhorn which has small dark berries.

I only have experience with a very few cotoneasters, so ignore my comment about them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:42AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

My first impression was Cotoneaster , but not a variety I'm familiar with.
Not all have small leaves. Some have leaves 4 inches long.
Mike

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 10:51AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Cotoneaster imo, too. Many species are plentiful and common here and they range from low shrubs to small trees. Leaves can be tiny and rounded up to long and narrow, as Mike says. Some are deciduous some evergreen.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 5:18AM
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zelda77

Thank you all so much for the help. It's so good to have an identity for this plant after all these years, and I hope it will have better, more appropriate care now.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 7:06AM
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