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      Close-up of Oregon native Cascara tree leaves (Frangula purshiana / Rhamnus purshiana). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native tree available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
      Hummingbird visits Cascara tree (Frangula purshiana / Rhamnus purshiana). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native tree available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
      Leaves and habit of Cascara tree (Frangula purshiana / Rhamnus purshiana). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native tree available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.
      Young Cascara tree (Frangula purshiana / Rhamnus purshiana). Another stunning Pacific Northwest native tree available at Sparrowhawk Native Plants Nursery in Portland, Oregon.

      Cascara

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      Frangula purshiana / Rhamnus purshiana

      • Size at maturity: 30' tall, 20' wide
      • Canopy layer: small tree
      • Light requirements: full sun to full shade
      • Moisture requirements: moist soil
      • Growth rate: slow
      • Special features: medicinal, supports hummingbirds

      Since Cascara (also known as Chitum) prefers a shady, moist condition, it is often found growing as an understory tree with Vine Maple and Red Alder. The 1/4” black berries, while not especially tasty for humans, are attractive to raccoons and a variety of birds. The bark was used medicinally by Northwest natives and continues to be harvested for its laxative properties. (Portland Plant List, 2016)

       

      Photo 1 & 3: "Cascara sagrada" by CAJC: in the PNW is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

      Photo Credit 1: Eileen Stark

      Photo Credit 4: Tara Lemezis