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City of Beaverton's Native Plant of the Month
Brought to you by the City of Beaverton Landscape and Urban Forestry Crew

Why Go Native?
Arborist Pat Hoff teaching about Native Trees
Arborist Pat Hoff teaches about Native Trees

Native plants and trees need less water and chemicals than non-native species, are more resistant to pests and diseases, and also attract birds, butterflies and other beneficial wildlife to your yard.  Simultaneously, they also reduce erosion and protect water quality.  Help keep our rivers clean and watershed healthy by planting a native on your property.

The City’s commitment to bringing native species to Beaverton has been growing over many years.  To continue promoting native species, the City's Public Works department will highlight a native plant each month for home and business owners to consider when working outdoors.  Keep in mind; it is the home and business owners’ responsibility to maintain street trees located within the right-of-way adjacent to their properties.

Cascara Leaves
Leaves with Berries of the Cascara

Beaverton's Native Plant of the Month: Cascara


Common Name: Cascara

Binomial Name: Rhamnus purshiana

Soil Type: Moist to Dry

Sunlight: Full Sun to Partial Sun

Spreads/Multiples: No

Plant Type: Tall Shrub/Small Tree

Foliage: Deciduous

Flowering: Yes


Cascara is native from northern California to British Columbia, as far east as the Rocky Mountains in Montana.  It grows in fairly dry to wet sites in full to partial sun and is most common in mixed woods and along stream sides.


Cascara Bark
Cascara Bark

Cascara is an erect, tall shrub or small tree about 33 ft (10 m) tall, with thin, smooth, silver-grey bark.  The shiny, deciduous leaves are simple, alternate and are clustered near the ends of twigs.  They are oval (5–15 cm long and 2–5 cm wide), are darker green on top than the bottom, have tiny teeth on the margins, and parallel veins.


Cascara flowers are small (3-4 mm long) and greenish-yellow in color.  Its fruits (5-8 mm across) are edible but have a distinctive taste and look like blue-black to purplish-black berries.  Cascara’s dried bark has been scientifically verified as an effective laxative, originally used for this purpose in the Pacific Northwest area by Native Americans.  It can also be used as a medicine for washing sores, swellings and for internal strains.


This Native Plant of the Month has been brought to you by the City of Beaverton’s Landscape and Urban Forestry Department along with Clean Water Services. Visit Clean Water Service’s Native Plant Finder webpage for interactive questions to help you find the right native plant to fit your needs!