Lemonade Berry (Rhus integrifolia)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Lemonade Berry
Give a thumbs up Saladito
Give a thumbs up Lemonadeberry
Give a thumbs up Sourberry
Give a thumbs up Lemonade Sumac

Botanical names:
Rhus integrifolia Accepted
Schmaltzia integrifolia Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 9b -3.9 °C (25 °F) to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
Plant Height: Up to 18 feet (bigger in cultivation)
Plant Spread: Up to 15 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late winter or early spring
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Pink
Other: Pale whitish-pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Beach Front
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil


Posted by Baja_Costero (Baja California - Zone 11b) on Jan 29, 2016 2:03 PM

Resident of mild coastal NW Baja California (into Southern California) which can grow into a large shrub, though plants in habitat are often smaller (especially in height) because of local conditions. Heavily branched. Relatively easy to shape with annual pruning. Extremely drought tolerant.

In coastal washes or along hillsides near the coast, this may be the only plant in the landscape that stays green year round. Small flowers open in clusters during January/February, through mid spring. Sharply acidic red fruit (sort of an acquired taste).

The saladito (Rhus integrifolia) is related to the sugar bush (Rhus ovata), which tends to grow more inland. Their flowers are quite similar in appearance but the leaves of the sugar bush (potentially a much larger plant) are normally folded along the midrib and oriented facing up. Both are great choices for California gardens if you're looking for a tough, drought tolerant native shrub (on the large side) that stays green year round and requires almost no maintenance.

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Posted by robertduval14 (Mason, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Dec 18, 2013 2:08 PM

In this plant's native range, the fruits are eaten by many bird species, including the road-runner.

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