[NAFEX] Bearberry (Cascara sagrada)

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Tue Apr 1 21:52:29 EST 2003

Rhamnus purshiana is a weed here in Oregon.  It is a vigorous stump
sprouter.  At one time, herbal collectors would strip the bark in the
spring, which was dried and powdered as the laxative.  The stripped trees
regrew in just a couple of years, though the best collectors usually came
through and cut off all but one or two sprouts to allow the remaining one to
get bigger, for a larger, more easily stripped sheet of bark.  The tree has
black berries that the birds eat and deposit seeds anywhere they roost.
Seedlings are in every fence row here, second only to hawthorn in prolific
-Lon Rombough

From: "Dr. Ethan Natelson" <natelson at pipeline.com>
Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2003 20:48:31 -0500
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Bearberry (Cascara sagrada)

Dear Group,

    I was looking through "Pomona in Review, The First Year", and came
across an article by one of the founders of NAFEX, Milo Gibson.  He comments
concerning a grafting technique, "The only luck the writer has had putting
variety jujube on seedling jujube or on Cascara sagrada, a cousin of the
jujube, has been with this graft".  According to a reference source I have,
Cascara sagrada (also called bearberry, which is a name also applied to
certain Haws) is a type of Buckthorn (Rhamnus purshiana syn. Frangula
purshiana).  Does anyone know if, indeed, jujube is compatible with it as a
rootstock and, if so, any nursery that carries this plant?  The laxative
cascara, apparently comes from its seeds.

Ethan Natelson
Houston, Texas

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