Rhamnus californica is a shrub 3–12 feet (0.91–3.66 m) tall. In favorable conditions the plant can develop into a small tree over 12 feet (3.7 m) tall. More commonly it is a shrub between 3–6 feet (0.91–1.83 m) tall.
The branches may have a reddish tinge and the new twigs are often red in color. The alternately arranged evergreen leaves are dark green above and paler on the undersides. The leaves have thin blades in moist habitat, and smaller, thicker blades in dry areas. It blooms in May and June. The fruit is a juicy drupe which may be green, red, or black. It is just under a centimeter long and contains two seeds that resemble coffee beans.
The plant occurs in oak woodland and chaparral habitats, and numerous others in its range. Individual plants can live an estimated 100 to 200 years. (Wikipedia) Photo credit: