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Toxic parts

There are some suggestions that the sap of this species can cause a skin rash in susceptible people, but this has not been substantiated. See also notes in 'Cultivation Details'.

Edible uses


Fruit - raw or cooked[1][2][3][4]. The fruit is covered with a pleasant acid-tasting exudation that can be sucked[5][6]. The fruit is small, up to 10mm in diameter[7], with very little flesh, but it is produced in fairly large panicles and so is easily harvested. When soaked for 10 - 30 minutes in hot or cold water it makes a very refreshing lemonade-like drink (without any fizz of course)[5][8][9]. The mixture should not be boiled since this will release tannic acids and make the drink astringent[10].

The leaves have been chewed to assuage thirst[11].

The roasted fruit is a coffee substitute.

Unknown part


Material uses

The leaves are rich in tannin. They can be collected as they fall in the autumn and used as a brown dye or as a mordant[12].

An oil is extracted from the seeds[13]. It attains a tallow-like consistency on standing and is used to make candles. These burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke[13].

Wood - hard, heavy[3]. It is valued and largely used as a fuel[3].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Rhus integrifolia.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in hot water (starting at a temperature of 80 - 90c and allowing it to cool) prior to sowing in order to leach out any germination inhibitors[14]. This soak water can be drunk and has a delicious lemon-flavour. The stored seed also needs hot water treatment and can be sown in early spring in a cold frame[14]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. It might be wise to grow the plants on in pots for a few years before planting out - see notes in 'Cultivation Details'[K].

Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[14]. Root cuttings 4cm long taken in December and potted up vertically in a greenhouse. Good percentage[15][14].

Suckers in late autumn to winter[14].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Rhus integrifolia. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Succeeds in a well-drained fertile soil in full sun[16][14]. Succeeds in a hot dry position.

This species is not very hardy in Britain, it may not succeed outdoors even in the mildest areas of the country[14]. One report says they can tolerate temperatures down to about -5°c[17]. Older plants become somewhat hardier and so it is worthwhile growing them on for a few years in pots with some winter protection (such as a cold greenhouse)[K]. Some 4 year old plants were cut back to the base by temperatures below -5°c on our Cornish trial grounds, but they resprouted from the base in early summer[K]. The young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts. Plants usually form thickets in the wild[7]. Plants have brittle branches and these can be broken off in strong winds[14]. Plants are also susceptible to coral spot fungus[16]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[14]. Many of the species in this genus are highly toxic and can also cause severe irritation to the skin of some people, whilst other species such as this one are not poisonous. It is relatively simple to distinguish which is which, the poisonous species have axillary panicles and smooth fruits whilst non-poisonous species have compound terminal panicles and fruits covered with acid crimson hairs[18][13]. The toxic species are sometimes separated into their own genus, Toxicodendron, by some botanists[14].

Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Rhus integrifolia. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Rhus integrifolia.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Rhus integrifolia
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
2 x meters
Flower Colour
Flower Type

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"image:Lemonadeberry.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Lemonadeberry.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Lemonadeberry.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

"image:Lemonadeberry.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

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  1. ? 1.01.1 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
  3. ? Sargent. C. S. Manual of the Trees of N. America. Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0-486-20278-X (1965-00-00)
  4. ? 4.04.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
  5. ? Coyle. J. and Roberts. N. C. A Field Guide to the Common and Interesting Plants of Baja California. Natural History Publishing Co. (1975-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.1 Balls. E. K. Early Uses of Californian Plants. University of California Press ISBN 0-520-00072-2 (1975-00-00)
  7. ? Elias. T. The Complete Trees of N. America. Field Guide and Natural History. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. ISBN 0442238622 (1980-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Sweet. M. Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West. Naturegraph Co. ISBN 0-911010-54-8 (1962-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.1 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.1 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
  13. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
  14. ? 14.0014.0114.0214.0314.0414.0514.0614.0714.0814.0914.10 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  15. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  16. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  17. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (1998-00-00)
  18. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
  19. ? Munz. A California Flora. University of California Press (1959-00-00)

"image:Lemonadeberry.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Rhus integrifolia"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupYes +
Belongs to familyAnacardiaceae +
Belongs to genusRhus +
Has binomial nameRhus integrifolia +
Has common nameLemonade Berry +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partUnknown part + and Fruit +
Has edible useCoffee +, Drink + and Unknown use +
Has environmental toleranceHigh wind +
Has fertility typeSelf sterile + and Bees +
Has flowers of typeDioecious +
Has hardiness zone9 +
Has imageLemonadeberry.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partUnknown part +
Has material useDye +, Fuel +, Mordant +, Oil +, Tannin + and Wood +
Has mature height2 +
Has primary imageLemonadeberry.jpg +
Has search namerhus integrifolia + and lemonade berry +
Has shade toleranceNo shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameRhus integrifolia +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedYes +
PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia +, Rhus integrifolia + and Rhus integrifolia +