Image for Cascara


Scientific name

Rhamnus purshiana


Cascara is a small deciduous tree or shrub species that typically grows between 5 and 9 m in height. The bark is smooth and silvery gray colored. The leaves are dark green colored with pale green undersides, alternately arranged, oval shaped, have deep ridges, and entire margins. The flowers are small, greenish yellow in color, appear in small clusters, and blooms between April and May. These flowers turn into small, round, purplish black colored fruit. The flowers are beneficial to pollinator species, such as bees and butterflies. The fruit and habitat are beneficial to wildlife species, such as birds and small mammals. This tree can grow as either an ornamental tree or a hedge-like shrub, depending on pruning. The roots are good for controlling erosion and stabilizing shorelines.

Planting conditions

Cascara grows best in moist to wet conditions with full or partial sun exposure. It prefers moist, organically rich, well-drained soil. It can tolerate drought and dry soil but young plants should be watered occasionally during hot summers. It can tolerate full sun or full shade. It is intolerant of air pollution so avoid planting near roads. This plant is naturally found in moist shaded forests and along lake or stream shorelines on the Pacific Coast.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Drought Tolerant
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
    • Shade
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Humus
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 5-9 m
  • Spread:
    • 5 m