PLANT: Shrub, slender, spreading, weakly armed, 1-4 m tall. STEMS: brown to gray-brown, branching becoming very dense with age, pubescent when young, glabrescent with age. LEAVES: stipules black to brown; petioles pubescent, 1-2 mm long; blade 8-15( -30) mm long, 4-11( -18) mm wide, thin, shiny green, villous, pinnatelyveined, entire to serrate, woolly when young, soon glabrous; midvein prominent beneath. FLOWERS: minute; hypanthium 1.2-1.8 mm diameter; sepals yellowish green; petals creamy white to yellow, ca. 0.5 mm long. FRUITS: flattened, star-shaped, the floral cup persisting on proximal end of fruit. NOTES: Dry rocky canyons and hillsides, desert grassland and sw oak woodlands: Cochise, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz cos.; 900-1525 m (3000 - 5000 ft); Mar -Sep; NM, Trans-Pecos region TX; Son. to Jal., Mex. Some branches have opposite to subopposite slender thorns, whereas others may be more leafy and less thorny. Leaf margins vary within an individual from entire to serrate. Leaves are larger and more numerous on plants in riparian areas and dry washes. In some instances Sageretia wrightii has been confused with Colubrina californica, however, the leaves of Sageretia wrightii are shiny green and thin, whereas the leaves of Colubrina californica are thicker and dull gray-green to yellowish green. The fruits of C. californica are woody capsules whereas the fruits of S. wrightti are fleshy drupes. REFERENCES: Kyle Christie, Michael Currie, Laura Smith Davis, Mar-Elise Hill, Suzanne Neal, and Tina Ayers, 2006 Vascular Plants of Arizona: Rhamnaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 23-46.
Christie et al. 2006, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: Wright's mock buckthorn Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Perennial herbs to straggling shrubs, stems slender, divaricate, and weakly armed, 1-4 m tall, branching becoming very dense with age, surfaces brown to gray-brown, pubescent when young, becoming glabrescent with age. Leaves: Nearly opposite, blades 8-15-30 mm long, 4-18 mm wide, thin, the surfaces bright, shiny green, villous, and pinnately veined, margins entire to serrate, woolly when young but soon becoming glabrous, the midveins prominent beneath, stipules black to brown, petioles pubescent, 1-2 mm long. Flowers: Minute, borne in glomerules forming open, leafy panicles, the petals creamy white to yellow, to 0.5 mm long, sepals yellowish green, hypanthiums 1.2-1.8 mm diameter, ovaries superior. Fruits: Flattened, fleshy, star-shaped drupes with 3 stones, the floral cup persisting on the proximal end of the fruit. Ecology: Found in dry rocky canyons and hillsides, desert grasslands and southwestern oak woodlands from 3,000-5,000 ft (914-1524 m); flowering March-September. Distribution: AZ, NM, TX; south to c MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a densely branched shrub without thorns; with bright green, shiny, thin leaves, the margins varying from entire to serrate; small yellow-cream flowers and a fleshy fruit with a hard seed (drupe). Leaves are larger and more numerous on plants in riparian areas and dry washes. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: The meaning of Sageretia is unknown, while wrightii is after William Greenwood Wright (1831-1912), one of the first lepidopterists in California. Editor: LCrumbacher 2012, FSCoburn 2015