Unlike other "buckthorns", alder buckthorn does not have thorns. Popular cultivars of it had narrow, columnar forms or fine feathery foliage with names like Tallhedge Buckthorn and Fernleaf Buckthorn. 1994. Branches: Buds and leaves are alternate. The fruit is a small black berry 6–10 mm (1⁄4–13⁄32 inch) in diameter, ripening from green through red in late summer to dark purple or black in early autumn, containing two or three pale brown 5-millimetre (3⁄16-inch) seeds. Frangula alnus Foliage with mature and immature fruit Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Clade: Tracheophytes Clade: Angiosperms Clade: Eudicots Clade: Rosids Order: Rosales Family: Rhamnaceae Genus: Frangula Species: F. alnus Binomial name Frangula alnus Mill. , Frangula alnus is one of just two food plants (the other being Rhamnus cathartica) used by the common brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni). Seeds are viable for two to three years in the soil. Buckthorn berries contain emodin, a natural laxative, that prevents mammals from digesting sugars found in the berries. Both the common name alder buckthorn and specific epithet alnus refer to its association with alders (Alnus) on damp sites.  It tends to grow more densely and with larger individuals in lower topographical areas with moist, fertile soils, and is very problematic for land managers. Neither shrub does particularly well on dry sand. The bark is dark blackish-brown, with bright lemon-yellow inner bark exposed if cut. It grows in fens and other wetlands. All of these plants though, were credited with the power to protect against witchcraft, demons, poisons, and headaches. Alder buckthorn was first formally described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as Rhamnus frangula. Broadleaf deciduous shrub slow growing, to about 10 ft high and 6 ft wide (3 × 1.8 m). The history of invasion and current status of glossy buckthorn, World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Lance-leafed buckthorn ( R. lanceolata ; native) is less than 6’ tall, found in wet areas and on dry limestone slopes, and has alternate leaves, 2-6” long, gradually tapering to a point at the tip. Seeds have laxative effect on birds who disperse them. Alder-leaf Buckthorn seldom forms large stands and is not invasive like Glossy or European Buckthorn is. Common buckthorn is considered an invasive species throughout most of the northeastern and central United States and sou… It is most often found in woodlands and open fields, where it f… The first (most common) is European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and the second is Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus). A variegated cultivar Frangula alnus 'Variegata' and a cultivar with very slender leaves 'Asplenifolia' are sometimes grown in gardens as ornamental shrubs. This selection grows 12-15’ tall and 3-4’ wide and has an upright, columnar habit. For information on the state’s response, visit the Department of Health website. Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is a small deciduous tree or large shrub that can grow to six meters in height. , Alder buckthorn has limited decorative qualities without conspicuous flowers or bold foliage, and is mainly grown for its conservation value, particularly to attract Brimstone butterflies. inval. © 2020 Minnesota DNR | Equal opportunity employer |, Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Cut branch exposes yellow sapwood and orange heartwood. "Invasion of transition hardwood forests by exotic Rhamnus frangula: Chronology and site requirements", "Guide to invasive upland plant species in New Hampshire", "Reminder to Gardeners: Some Exotic Plants Banned in Illinois", "Connecticut Invasive Plant List July 2009", European Forest Genetic Resources Programme, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Frangula_alnus&oldid=982588561, Articles with dead external links from December 2019, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2010, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 October 2020, at 02:24. 2019 Status in Maine: Widespread.Severely Invasive. , It invades forests and grows in the understory in spots with a lot of light. Since then it has spread aggressively throughout southern Ontario and in other provinces. They are ovate, 3–7 cm (1 1⁄4–2 3⁄4 in) long by 2.5–4 cm (1–1 5⁄8 in) wide (rarely to 11 cm or 4 1⁄4 in by 6 cm or 2 1⁄4 in). DNR RESPONSE TO COVID-19: For details on adjustments to DNR services, visit this webpage. The cultivar 'Tallhedge' has been selected for hedging. Most buckthorn varieties are easy-to-grow shrubs that make great privacy screens, backdrops, or hedges, thanks to their dense habit and lustrous, dark-green foliage. Glossy buckthorn The related invasive glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) has untoothed leaves and flowers with five petals rather than four. It has 8 or 9 leaf veins rather than the 3 to 5 of common buckthorn. Alder-leaved buckthorn is smaller than common buckthorn, only reaching a maximum of 3’ in height at maturity. But when Frangula alnus invades and grows in these locations, its dense canopy prevents light from reaching the ground and therefore prevents other seedlings from growing. Generic limits in Rhamnus L. s.l. Foliage The dark green leaves are shiny, alternate (sometime opposite) and simple with prominent venation. There are several native trees and shrubs that … The shoots are dark brown, the winter buds without bud scales, protected only by the densely hairy outer leaves. These areas, usually where a tree has fallen, normally allow locally native tree seedlings to grow and eventually fill in the gap in the canopy. I have seen plants cut and poisoned by over-zealous invasive species hunters. Also grows in upland habitats, tolerates full sun to deep shade. Each berry has two to three seeds. No thorn at tip of twig. The aged or heated bark of the plant is used to make medicine. Frangula nigra Samp. Overview Information Alder buckthorn is a shrub that grows in parts of Europe and North America. Unlike other "buckthorns", alder buckthorn does not have thorns.  It is predicted to continue to expand its North American range with time. The flowers are small, 3–5 mm (1⁄8–3⁄16 inch) in diameter, star-shaped with five greenish-white acute triangular petals, hermaphroditic, and insect-pollinated, flowering in May to June in clusters of two to ten in the leaf axils. , Galen, a Greek physician of the 2nd century A.D., knew of alder buckthorn, although he did not distinguish clearly in his writings between it and other closely related species. It was not widely disseminated in the nursery trade in Minnesota until the mid to late 70s. That is why two buckthorn species -- common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and glossy or alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus and Rhamnus frangula) -- were introduced to North America in the 1800s, but they have become invasive. Common buckthorn has a bit stronger preference for a variety upland soils and usually has lots of thorns. Pulling in small infestations (weed wrench), Cut-stump treatment with glyphosate; cut-stump or basal bark spray treatment around the stem with triclopyr, DNR permit to work in public water may be required. Frangula vulgaris Hill Girtanneria frangula Neck Common, or European, buckthorn, and glossy buckthorn are the two non-native, invasive buckthorn species found in Minnesota.  It is one of three species of buckthorn that occurs without cultivation in eastern Canada. Aggressively invades wetlands including acidic bogs, calcareous fens and sedge meadows. Hemlock-oak stands, which tend to be older stands of trees, are much less suitable for Frangula alnus because the density of the tree canopy creates a more shady environment that is not as suitable for Frangula alnus. Ontario and in Canada about 100 years ago ( 8 in ) aggressively invades wetlands including acidic bogs, fens! 21 ] it is considered invasive, but it ’ s not nearly so common as the two. 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