Cascara sagrada characteristics

What is a cascara sagrada plant?

Characteristics of cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)

Common English name: Cascara, Buckthorn, Cascara sagrada, Bearberry

Scientific name: Rhamnus purshiana (= Frangula purshiana), Rhamnus purshianus D)

Family. Ramnaceae

Habitat: Coniferous forests of the temperate zones of the northwest coast of the United States and the Pacific coast of Canada. Cultivated in some parts of central Africa. It prefers open sunny places with moist soils, especially in periods of low rainfall.

Description of cascara sagrada

cascara sagradaDrawing of the plant

Deciduous tree of the Ramnaceae family up to 12 m; 3 meters wide.

Erect stems with rounded branches reddish brown bark.

Alternate leaves till 8 cm long and 2 cm wide, with abundant hairs when young, bright green at maturity and with a patent venation.

Flowers gathered in inflorescences (umbels) appearing before the leaves, greenish-white.

Drupe fruit , with two or three seeds inside it.

Components of cascara sagrada

  • Acids: chrysophanic, oxalic acid, syringic
  • Anthracene derivatives (69%), aloeemolin, barbaloin, emodin, frangulin, heterodianthrones (palmidins) casanthranol
  • Free anthraquinones (810%) chrysophanol, emodol
  • Tannins
  • Glycosides: rhamnoxantin (= Cascarin) purshianin, chrysaloin, aloeemodol, emodol
  • Lignin (wood)
  • Fiber (bark)
  • Resins (bark)
  • Rhamnustoxin (Bark)

punto rojo More information on cascara sagrada

This article was endorsed by Montserrat Enrich - Journalist specializing in edible wild plants and plant uses.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

3 December, 2021

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