Frangula alnus

Frangula alnus spent flowers
Photo Credit: 
Steven Daniel (taken in Livingston Co. NY)

An ornamental European species that is considered a level 1 invasive in our region. Birds and wildlife spread the seeds. Shrubby plant that grows to 6 - 24 feet tall with stems up to 10" diameter. The leaves are alternate and there are no "thorns". Its bark is gray to brown with white lenticels. Tends to be in moist-wet disturbed sites and along waterways, but tolerates a wide variety of conditions and forms dense thickets, aggressively crowding out native species. See also Rhamnus cathartica, the common (non-native, invasive) buckthorn.  There is also a native buckthorn (Rhamnus alnifolia), so verify identification prior to removal.

Plant Information

Common Name(s): 
glossy buckthorn
false glossy buckthorn
smooth buckthorn
Alternate Scientific Names: 
Rhamnus frangula
Shrubs, Trees
Native Region: 
Prohibited/Regulated in NY State
Part Shade

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