E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Rhamnus purshiana DC.
Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66228)

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Distribution of Rhamnus purshiana
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Species Information

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Deciduous shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall with yellow- to brownish hairs, bark silvery-grey.
Alternate, egg-shaped to broadly elliptic, the blades 6-13 cm long, finely toothed with 10-12 conspicuous pairs of parallel veins, the veins short-hairy; stalks 5-23 mm long; stipules lacking.
Inflorescence an axillary, stalked cluster of 8-25 male and/or female flowers; petals 5, greenish, hooded, 3-4 mm long; hypanthium lined with a thin disc; calyces 5-lobed, the lobes triangular, finely hairy.
Berries, 6-10 mm long, black to purplish-black; seeds 3. vol4_6

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic streambanks, thickets, woodlands and forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common in SW BC, frequent in SC and SE BC south of 51degreeN; S to ID, MD and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Rhamnus purshiana

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1 238 1479
Slope Gradient (%) 0 12 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 299 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CDF(140), CWH(178), ESSF(1), ICH(45), IDF(5)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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