Rhus ovata S. Watson

Common name: Sugar bush.

Family: Anacardiaceae.

Flowering time: March-May.

Fruiting time: Late spring to early summer.

Habitat: Found on dry slopes in chaparral, scrub, and desert communities in medium to coarse textured soils. It is typically found inland and away from the coast where it is very dry.

Range: Santa Barbara County south to northern Baja California. It can extend into parts of central Arizona as well.

Ecology: This medium sized shrub is extremely drought tolerant and shade intolerant. It is not at all fire resistant but is somewhat fire tolerant as it can sometimes re-sprout after a fire. The drupes of this plant provide food for much wildlife including many large birds, song birds, and various small and large mammals.

Ethnobotanical information: Cahuilla Indians used the leaves for colds, coughs, and chest pain. The drupes were eaten fresh or ground into flour and used as a sweetener for other foods.

This plant on Jepson Interchange