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Frangula alnus . Mill
Rhamnus frangula L; Glossy Buckthorn; Rhamnus frangula

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Frangula alnus
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Frangula alnus

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Authors: Carmen K. Converse, Global Invasive Species Team, The Nature Conservancy


Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Rhamnales Family: Rhamnaceae Genus: Frangula Species: F. alnus
Scientific Name
Frangula alnus
Scientific Name Synonyms
Rhamnus frangula
P. Mill.
Common Names
glossy buckthorn, alder buckthorn, glossy false buckthorn, columnar buckthorn, fen buckthorn


Frangula alnus is a large shrub or small tree that can grow to heights of 30 ft. (9.1 m). Its bark is gray to brown with white lenticels.
The dark green leaves are shiny, alternate (sometime opposite) and simple with prominent venation.
The flowers are inconspicuous, pale greenish-yellow to yellow in color and occur in clusters in the leaf axis. Flowering occurs from May through September.
The fleshy fruit ripens from red to a dark purple or black color. You can see ripe fruit beginning about July through September.
Ecological Threat
Frangula alnus invades moist woodlands and disturbed areas throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Its rapid growth and prolific seed production make this plant an aggressive invader that can form dense thickets which shade and displace native understory plants, shrubs, and tree seedlings. This plant is native to Europe and was first introduced into the United States in the mid 1800s as an ornamental.



F. alnus is native to North Africa, Asia, and Europe, except Iceland (Bailey 1976, Polunin 1969).

F. alnus occurs from Nova Scotia to Manitoba, south to Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey (Soper and Heimburger 1982) and Tennessee (Kral 1981).

Native Habitat (Europe/Asia):

F. alnus typically inhabits wetter, less shaded, and more acidic soils than some other buckthorns (Tansley 1968). It grows in soils of any texture (Sukachev 1928). Habitats include alder thickets (Eldin 1968, Tansley 1968) and calcareous wetlands (Godwin and Bharucha 1932, Tansley 1968). Heath oak woods (Tansley 1968), pine (Kornev 1952) and spruce (Sukachev 1928) woods frequently have F. alnus in the understory. F. alnus is recommended for reforestation of degraded European sites having water logged, podzolized clay soils low in available nutrient and humus (Ziani 1957).

North America: This species was probably introduced to North America before 1800 (Wyman 1971), but did not become widespread and naturalized until the early 1900s (Howell and Blackwell 1977). They are cultivated for hedges (Wyman 1971), forestry uses, and wildlife habitat. Naturalized habitats include pastures, fencerows, roadsides, and slopes of ravines.


Natural reproduction is primarily sexual; asexual means are absent or insignificant.

Plants reach seed bearing age quickly (Godwin 1936). F. alnus blooms in late May through September, after leaf expansion (Malicky et al. 1970). Flowers of F. alnus can blossom on current season's growth (Gleason and Cronquist 1963). In one known case, F. alnus bloomed and produced fruit on resprouts the same season it was cut (Brue 1980).

The subglobose drupes of F. alnus are red turning to black. They ripen in July through August and have two or three ungrooved seeds (Fernald 1950). Fruit production is abundant each year (Hubbard 1974).


Fruit of both species is efficiently dispersed usually by starlings, blackbirds, woodducks, elk, mice (Ridley 1930), cedar waxwings, robins and blue jays. Mice are also seed predators (Godwin 1936). Apparently, few bird species readily tolerate the anthranquinones (emodin) present especially in the immature fruit, preventing premature dispersal (Trail and Dimond 1979). Fruit of F. alnus more rapidly falls to the ground following ripening (Godwin 1936).

The importance of water dispersal is unknown, but dry fruit of Rhamnus cathartica can float six days and seeds float three days before sinking. Fresh fruit of F. alnus floats 19 days, and dry seed floats one week (Ridley 1930). This dispersal could be significant in areas of frequent and extensive fall and winter flooding.

Horticultural distribution increases seed sources for dispersal by the above vectors.


Germination varies because seeds have either embryo or seed coat dormancy or both require stratification and scarification (Godwin 1936, Hubbard 1974, Tyszkiewicz and Dabrowska 1953). This variability is not necessarily consistent within a species (Hubbard 1974) such that germination could be opportunistic.

Seedling Establishment:

Although seedlings invade apparently stable habitats, recruitment is most successful where there is ample light (Leitner 1984, Kowlaski 1968) and exposed soil (Andreas 1983). In a reforestation project, F. alnus seedling success was greater in areas where previous vegetation was removed and soil cultivated, than in areas burned, lightly raked, or untreated prior to seedling (Bodeux 1958).

F. alnus seedling density is usually high near seed sources (Godwin 1936, Andreas 1983, Pauly 1983). In one invaded area, seedling density averaged almost 54 per 0.1 m2 quadrant (Brue 1980).

These buckthorns have long growing seasons, rapid growth rate, and resprout vigorously following top removal. Alteration of dormancy growth rhythms in Buckthorns is not significantly related to thermo or photoperiods (Lavarenne et al. 1971). In North America, they leaf out prior to most woody deciduous plants - in mid to late May (Malicky et al 1970). They retain leaves in late September through October and sometimes into November (Hanson and Grau 1979, Lovely 1983). Leafdrop possibly occurs earlier in open areas than in shade (Pauly 1984). In Europe, shoot growth of F. alnus appears to be greatest in the earlier part of the season (Raulo et al. 1975).

Plants of F. alnus 'columnaris' of 0.7 m in height, are capable of growing about 4 m in five years (Wyman 1971). Mature plants, cut near the base early in the season can send up sprouts up to 2 m tall in the same year (Wyman 1971, Andreas 1983, Brue 1980). In one case, a plant with stems seven to eleven cm in diameter at the base sent up to 50 sprouts following cutting (Wyman 1971).

Buckthorns rapidly form dense, even aged thickets. In an open site, buckthorn establishment is followed by lateral crown spread. This extension continues until branches touch adjacent shrubs. The large leaves and continuous canopy create dense shade. In Wicken Fen, Godwin (1936) found that a mixed sedge area colonized by F. alnus seedlings became continuous shrub carr in about 20 years. Even aged thickets are common in both wetlands and in woodland understories.

The vigor of the species is often related to light availability. It seems that seedlings F. alnus establish readily under full light. As plants mature, F. alnus shows less shade tolerance than some other Buckthorns. For example, it shades out its lower leaves and assumes a more columnar growth habit in dense thickets, while others may retain lower leaves in its own shade (Godwin 1936). Seedlings may become established, but show little growth under adult plants. Thickets may be even aged because seedlings are repressed.

Adult plants of F. alnus can be temporarily suppressed by canopy species. In a 50 year study of pine stands in Russia, F. alnus decreased in the understory as canopy cover increased. However, as pines matured and cover density decreased, F. alnus renewed vigorous growth mostly by basal sprouting (Kornev 1952).

Buckthorn affects the survival of co occurring species. Other woody plants such as Viburnum opulus L. (in Europe) and Betula pumula L. may be replaced by buckthorn, or are unable to invade buckthorn thickets (Godwin 1936, Lovely 1982).

The effects of buckthorn on herbaceous vegetation is uncertain. In Wicken Fen, dense thickets of both species altered herbaceous understory composition (Godwin et al. 1974). Cypripedium candidum Muhl. crown production decreased in the shade of woody plants including F. alnus in a Wisconsin fen (Lovely 1981).


Management problems:

In addition to the above naturalized habitats, these species are problems in parts of some natural areas. F. alnus sometimes invades similar woodland habitats (Brue 1980), but more often invades wetlands that are comparable to its European wetland habitats. North American wetlands invaded by glossy buckthorn include wet prairies, marshes, calcareous fens (Bacone 1983), sedge meadows (McClain 1983, Packard 1983), sphagnum bogs (Howell and Blackwell 1977, Swink 1974) and tamarack swamps (Hasselkus 1983, Swink 1974). In these wetlands, somewhat drier conditions that are more conducive to woody plant growth, are increased by water manipulation including drainage (ditches, roads, sluices) and water table reduction (Harris and Marshall 1963, Vogl 1969, Forsyth 1974, Zimmerman 1978, Moran 1981, Lovely 1981, Gawler 1983). F. alnus is most successful under drier conditions in wetlands. In Wicken Fen of England, Godwin and Bharucha (1932) found that although Buckthorns grew in the same position relative to the water table as did mixed sedge communities, its growth was limited by high winter water levels. As drainage increased, drier conditions resulted in dominance (Godwin et al. 1974).

Other possible reasons for invasion of wetlands include:

1. Acidification of surface peat of calcareous fens (Godwin 1974).
2. Exposed mineral soil providing a seed bed (Andreas 1983).
3. Fire suppression and cessation of routine mowing (Godwin 1936, Curtis 1946, Vogl 1969, Godwin et al. 1974, White 1965, Zimmerman 1978, Moran 1981, Gawler 1983).

Composition, especially of upland deciduous woods and of wetlands may be altered because of invasion F. alnus .

This species is invasive for the following reasons:

1. They became widespread in North America when various disturbances (drainage, lack of fire, woodland grazing and cutting, etc.) created ideal habitat for seedling recruitment and maintenance of sexually mature adults.
2. Naturalized habitats are similar to indigenous habitats.
3. Seed production, dispersal and germination are effective.
4. Adult plants form dense colonies, have large shading leaves, and are persistent.
5. Plants vigorously resprout after top removal.

Cultural controls include cutting, mowing, girdling, excavation, burning, and "underplanting."


Repeated cutting reduces plant vigor. In a Wisconsin calcareous fen, F. alnus , cut manually twice in one season (early June and late August) for two or three successive years, had fewer and shorter stems than a control (Lovely 1983). Growth was similar in plots cut only once a year for the same periods, but herbaceous groundcover was most vigorous in plots cut twice a year (Lovely 1983). F. alnus cut in late September may resprout the same season (Ohio) (Andreas 1983). F. alnus mowed closely (2 to 13 cm from ground) once or twice in June or July, survives as small plants (Bristol 1983) or vigorous resprouts (Brue 1980). Mowing maintains open areas by preventing seedling establishment (Curtis 1946, Godwin 1936).


F. alnus completely encircled at the base by a two to three cm wide saw cut into the phloem, do not resprout (Reed 1983). Girdling may be done all winter, does not disrupt the soil, nor adversely affects sensitive wetlands. A five second flame torch application around the stem will kill the cambium of stems less than 4.5 cm in diameter (Reed 1983).


Seedlings or small plants may be hand pulled or removed with a grubbing hoe (Kline 1983, Bacone 1983, Andreas 1983, Brue 1980) or larger plants may be pulled out with heavy equipment (Bristol 1983, Brue 1980). Excavation often disturbs roots of adjacent plants, or creates open soil readily colonized by new seedlings (Bacone 1983). This technique may be most useful to control invasion at low densities, or along trails, roads, and woodland edges.


Presently most fire treatments do not control Buckthorn. Some data indicate limited effective use of fire management in a recovery phase. The season of a burn and vegetation of the area to be burned most influence this phase of fire management. Because Buckthorns leaf out earlier than most native species, a late April or early May burn in the upper midwest (Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan) potentially top kills Buckthorn. Because carbohydrate levels are low in roots at this time, resprouting vigor may be reduced. In a Michigan fall burn of a calcareous fen, stem density of F. alnus was twice as great the following summer than before the burn. Resprouts were one third the height of the pre burn stems (Kohring 1978).

If herbaceous vegetation exists beneath buckthorns, fire effectively top kills shrubs especially during dry weather (Godwin 1936). In most cases, however, groundcover is sparse beneath large shrubs or dense thickets, preventing fire spread unless conditions are dry and/or windy (Packard 1983). Resprouting usually follows top kill, especially in wetlands where moisture protects the basal crown (Godwin 1936).

A burning schedule to maintain vigor of native vegetation possibly prevents easy seedling establishment, unless seed sources are nearby.

If seed sources are near burned areas, fire exposed soils or peat probably are more readily invaded by seedlings than groundcover of unburned areas (Lampa 1984). In some wetlands, lack of flooding following burning has been shown to increase general woody plant invasion (Vogl 1969).


"Underplanting" disturbed woods with native woody species is potentially effective to prevent primary invasion, or re invasion of buckthorns. Sugar maple ( Acer saccharum Marsh.) seedlings have been planted in oak woods of the Morton Arboretum Illinois (Ware 1983), and the University of Wisconsin Arboretum (Kline 1983). Seedling success was poor in the Illinois planting. In Wisconsin, sugar maple that were 2 to 3 feet (0.7 to 0.9 m) up to 8 feet (2.4 m) tall in 1946 when planted, are 4 in. (10.2 cm) dbh (diameter breast height) and have basal areas of 0.8 sq. dm. The most invasive species in this planting has been red maple ( A. rubrum L.).


The following table summarizes chemical treatment. Best control possible results from the following treatments:
1. Stump application of 20% glyphosate in August/September (Kline 1983).
2. Wick application of 2 1/2 3% glyphosate in May (Lampa 1983).
3. Mist application of 2.4 kg/ha fosamine (ammonium salt) in September (Niehuss and Roediger 1974).
4. Frill application of Picloram (ready to use) during the growing season (Farrar 1983).
5. Basal application of 2,4 D in diesel fuel at 2 4% (Sannikov and Tykvina 1971) or 12.5% (Kline 1983) during the first half of the growing season.

Some special features of herbicide use are as follows:
1. Without a surfactant, glyphosate should not harm non target vegetation or surrounding watersheds when used in anaerobic situations. It will degrade more slowly in anaerobic than aerobic conditions (Jackson 1984).
2. Effectiveness of fosamine (ammonium salt) may be related to downward translocation of plants preparing for dormancy (Niehuss and Roediger 1974).
3. Picloram + 2,4 D is soil mobile and probably affects non target vegetation in certain areas (Farrar 1983).
4. If 2,4 D is carefully applied, there is no known damage to surounding plants or soil fauna (Nat. Conservancy, Great Brit. 1962). Basal applications must completely encircle the trunk to be effective (Pauly 1983).

The following tables show control efforts used against buckthorn:

Trials using 2,4-D
Reference and species targeted Application Rate Application Method Application Time Geographic Location Results
Sannikov & Tykvina 1971, Rhamnus sp. 2-4% ester w/diesel fuel basal painting up to 10 cm basal diameter first half growing season USSR 100%
Pauly 1983, Rhamnus sp. 4% ester w/diesel fuel basal spray ??? WI good control if completely encircles trunk
Pauly 1983, Rhamnus sp. 4% ester w/diesel fuel stump ??? WI control
Rohrig 1953, F. alnus 0.2-0.9% ester aqueous foliar, hand sprayed Mar-Aug Germany Poor, defoliated growth reflush
Parsons 1983, F. alnus 1--1.5% diesel fuel surfactant foliar, tractor sprayer growth flush OH some control of resprouts following mowing

Trials using AMS
Reference and species targeted Application Rate Application Method Application Time Geographic Location Results
Packard 1983 aqueous as concentrated as possible stump painting year-round IL control. Best control on fresh cuts.

Trials using glyphosate
Reference and species targeted Application Rate Application Method Application Time Geographic Location Results
Lampa 1983, F. alnus 2.5-3% wick May-June IL 90-100% control.
Chapman 1983, F. alnus 10% mist bottle, stumps less than 5 cm dbh August MI control.
Chapman 1983, F. alnus 10% mist bottle, stumps greater than 12 cm dbh August MI resprouting Sept.

Trials using Fosamine
Reference and species targeted Application Rate Application Method Application Time Geographic Location Results
Pauly 1983, Rhamnus sp. 4% mist sprayer, seedlings mid-late summer WI 60-70%. Recommend for fall (Oct) application.
Niehuss, 1974, F. alnus 2.4 kg/ha mist sprayer Sept Great Britain 97.5% control after 1 year.

Trials using Picloram (25%)+2,4-D (75%)
Reference and species targeted Application Rate Application Method Application Time Geographic Location Results
Pauly, 1983, Rhamnus sp. ready to use squirt bottle stump summer WI good control


Combined methods may increase control. In fens, Lovely (1983) suggests cutting F. alnus in the spring at leaf expansion and again in the fall, followed by spring burning the next two years. Combining cutting with herbicide use may control buckthorn when burning conditions are poor or where burning increases buckthorn invasion. Resprouts resulting from cutting or mowing probably are highly susceptible to translocatable herbicides because of decreased distance to roots, and greater absorption by young shoots. Depletion of root carbohydrates may increase transfer rates of food (and herbicides) to roots (Leonard 1963).

Biological Control:

F. alnus is an alternate host for oat rust ( Puccina coronata ) (Hanson and Grau 1979). Because North American insects do not readily feed on buckthorn (probably because of emodin), many host specific European insects of the Rhamnaceae were evaluated for potential Canadian introduction to control buckthorn (Malicky et al. 1970).

In England, F. alnus declined when diseased by Fusarium and Nectria fungi (Godwin 1936). An attempt to simulate this decline was initiated in Wisconsin by buckthorn inoculation of Triocothecum roseum , a fungus potentially causing root rot (Brue 1980). No results are available.


Management Research Programs:

States where this is being managed and some contacts:

Fran Harty
Illinois Dept. of Conservation
Forestry and Natural Heritage NE Illinois
No. 8 Henson Place
Champaign, IL
217/333 5773

Wayne Lampa
Resource Naturalist Specialist
DuPage Co.
Forest Preserve Dist.
Wheaton, IL
312/790 4900

Steve Packard
The Nature Conservancy
Illinois Field Office
79 West Monroe St., Suite 708
Chicago, IL 60603
312/346 8166

George Ware
Research Director
Morton Arboretum
Lisle, IL 63502
312/968 0074


John Bacone
Director of Division of Natural Preserves
Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources
601 State Office Bldg.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317/232 4052


Donald R. Farrar
Associate Professor
Department of Botany
Bessey Hall
Ames, IA 50011
515/294 4846


Barb Andreas
216/292 2389


Kim Chapman
Department of Biology
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
517/373 1552


Virginia Kline
University of Wisconsin Madison
1207 Seminole Hwy.
Madison, WI 53711
608/263 7344 or 608/262 2179

Wayne Pauly
Dane Co. Naturalist
Dane Co. Hwy. Dept.
2302 Fish Hatchery Rd.
Madison, WI 53713
608/266 5922

Don Reed
Principle Biologist
SE Wisconsin Regional Planning
Box 162
Waukesha, WI
414/547 6721




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Bodeux, A. 1957. (The Campine Calluna heaths and conditions for their afforestation.) (French) Repr. from Revue de l'Agricuture 1960 (abstract no. 456).

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Harris, S.W.; Marshall, W.H. 1963. Ecology of water level manipulations on a northern marsh. Ecology 44: 331 343.

Harty, Fran. 1983 Dec. 6. Illinois Dept. Conservation. Conversation with C.K. Converse, The Nature Conservancy,Midwest Regional Office.

Hasselkus, Edward. 1983 Dec. 9. Professor horticulture. Personal communication at Univ. WI, Madison.

Hinneri, Sakari. 1972. An ecological monograph on eutrophic deciduous woods in the SW archipelago of Finland. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis Ser. A.II. 131 p.

Howell, J.A.; Blackwell, W.H. Jr. 1977. The history of Frangula alnus (glossy buckthorn) in the Ohio flora. Castanea 42(2): 111 115.

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Jackson, Donald. 1984 Jan. 20. Product supervisor/Monsanto, St. Louis, MO. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse, The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office.

Kline, Virginia. 1983 Dec. 9. Ecologist, Univ. WI Arboretum, Madison, WI. Personal communication with C.K. Converse, The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office.

Kohring, Margaret. 1978. Effect of a fall burn on Bakertown Fen, Berrien Co., MI. Located at TNC, The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office. 21 p.

Kornev, V.P. 1952. (Changes occurring in the underwood of Scots Pine stands in the course of rotation.) (Russian) Lesn. Hoz. 5(2): 65 70. Taken from: Forestry Abstr. 16(2): 187; 1955 (Abstract No. 1542).

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Kral, R. 1981. Some distributional reports of weedy or naturalized foreign species of vascular plants for the southern states, particularly Alabama and middle Tennessee. Castanea 46(4): 334 339.

Lampa, Wayne. 1984 Jan. 16. Resource Management Specialist, Du Page Co., For. Preserve, IL. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse

Lavarenne, S.; Champagnat, P.; Barnda, P. 1971. (Growth rhythm of some woody plants from temperate regions when grown in acclimatization chambers with constant high temperature and different photoperiods.) (French) Bull. de la Soc. Botanique de France. 118(3/4): 131 162. Taken from: Forestry Abstr. 34(4); 1973 (Abstract No. 2139)

Leitner, L.A. 1984 Jan. 13. Letter and summary of research with Rhamnus cathartica sent to The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office from Univ. WI Milwaukee, BotanyDept., 5 p. + 3 figs. + one chart

Leonard, O.E. 1963. Translocation of herbicides in woody plants. Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters, 99 103.

Lovely, D.M. 1981. Wingra Fen vegetation and hydrologic studies. Submitted to Friends of Univ. WI Arboretum, Madison, WI. 24 p.

Lovely, D.M. 1982. Wingra Fen: 1982 report. Submitted to Friends of Univ. WI Arboretum, Madison, WI. 26 p.

Lovely, D.M. 1983 Dec. 9. Personal communication at Univ. WI, Madison.

McClain, William. 1983 Nov. 11. Heritage Botanist, IL Dept. of Conservation. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse, The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office.

Malicky, H.; Sobhian, R.; Zwolfer, H. 1970. Investigations on the possibilities of a biological control of Rhamnus cathartica L. in Canada: Host ranges, feeding sites, and phenology of insects associated with European Rhamnaceae. Z. angew Ent. 65: 77 97.

Moran, R.C. 1981. Prairie fens in northeastern Illinois: floristic composition and disturbance. Stuckey, R.L.; Reese, K.J., eds. Proc. of the 6th North Amer. Prairie Conf. 278 p. (p. 164 168).

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Parsons, Brian. 1983 Nov. 30. Naturalist, Holden Arboretum. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse, The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office.

Pauly, Wayne. 1984 Jan. 3. Dane Co. Naturalist, Madison, WI. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse, The Nature Conservancy, Midwest Regional Office.

Polunin, Oleg. 1969. Flowers of the World. London, England: Oxford University Press.

Raulo, J.; Leikola, M. 1975. (Studies on the annual height growth of trees.) (Finnish) Metsantutkimuslaitoksen Julkaisuja 81(2): 1 19. From English summary and chart (p. 10).

Reed, Donald. 1983 Dec. 12. Principle biologist, SE WI Regional Planning Commission. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse, TNC, MRO.

Ridley, H.N. 1930. The Dispersal of Plants Throughout the World. Ashford, Kent, England: Reeve and Co.

Rohrig, E. 1953. (Successful trials of growth regulators for controlling weed growth in the forest.) (German) Forstarchiv 25(1): 5 9. Taken from: Forestry Abstr. 15(4): 459 460; 1954 (Abstract No. 3698).

Rosendahl, C.O. 1970. Trees and Shrubs of the Upper Midwest. Minneapolis, MN: Univ. Minnesota Press. 411 p.

Sannikov. G.P.; Tykvina, A.F. 1971. (Destroying undesirable woody vegetation by basal treatment with arboricides.) (Russian) Khimiya u Sel`skom Khozyaistve 9(12): 37 39. Taken from: Forestry Abstr. 35(4): 158; 1974 (Abstract No. 1564).

Soper, J.H.; Heimburger, M.C. 1982. Shrubs of Ontario. Toronto, Canada: Royal Ontario Museum.

Sukachev, V.N. 1928. Principles of classification of the spruce communities of European Russia. J. Ecology 16(1): 1 18.

Swink, F. 1974. Plants of the Chicago Region, 2nd ed. Lisle, IL: Morton Arboretum.

Tansley, A.G. 1968. Britian's Green Mantle: Past, Present, and Future. London, England: George Allen and Unwin. 327 p.

Trial, H. Jr.; Dimond, J.B. 1979. Emodin in buckthorn: a feeding deterrent to phytophagous insects. Can. Entomol. 111: 207 212.

Tyszkiewicz, S.; Dabrowska, J. 1953. (Stratification of the seeds of forest trees and shrubs.) (Polish) Roczn. Nauk. lesn 1: 155 221. Taken from: Forestry Abstr. 15(4): 430; 1954 (Abstract No. 3466).

Vogl, R.J. 1969. One hundred and thirty years of plant succession in a southeastern Wisconsin lowland. Ecology 50(2): 248 255.

Ware, George. 1973. Research director, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL. Telephone conversation with C.K. Converse, TNC, MRO.

White, L. 1965. Shrub carrs of southeastern Wisconsin. Ecology 46(3): 286 304.

Wyman, D. 1971. Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens. New York: MacMillan Co.

Ziani, P. 1957. The amelioration by afforestation of strongly podzolized degraded sites of the continental oak region. (Croat.) Sum. List. 81(5/6): 169 205. Taken from: Forestry Abstr. 19(4): 530; 1958 (Abstract No. 4212).

Zimmerman, J.H. 1978. Notes on Wisconsin prairie fens characteristics and relationships. Glenn Lewin, D.C.; Landers, R.Q. Jr., eds., Proc. of Fifth Midwest Prairie Conf., Dept. Botany and Plant Pathology, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA. 230 p. (p. 191).

Original Document

Element Stewardship Abstract; Carmen K. Converse, 2007.

Articles in Archived Publications

Images from Bugwood.org

Retrieved from " http://wiki.bugwood.org/index.php?title=Frangula_alnus&oldid=50287 "

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Frangula alnus Mill.
glossy buckthorn

Image of Frangula alnus

General Information
Symbol: FRAL4
Group: Dicot
Family: Rhamnaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Shrub
Native Status : CAN   I
L48   I
Other Common Names: alder buckthorn
Data Source and Documentation
About our new maps
Plants-NRCS Logos
green round image for nativity Native blue round image for introduced Introduced ocre round image for introduced and nativity Both white round image for no status Absent/Unreported
image for native, but no county data Native, No County Data image for introduced, but no county data Introduced, No County Data both introduced and native, but no county data Both, No County Data
Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   


click on a thumbnail to view an image, or see all the Frangula thumbnails at the Plants Gallery

Robert H. Mohlenbrock. USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species . Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln. Provided by USDA NRCS Wetland Science Institute (WSI). Usage Requirements .

Steve Hurst. Provided by ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory . Russian Federation, Tiflis. Usage Requirements .

Steve Hurst. Provided by ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory . Russian Federation, Tiflis. Usage Requirements .

Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 504. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Society . Scanned by Omnitek Inc . Usage Requirements .



Symbol Scientific Name
RHFR Rhamnus frangula L.
RHFRC2 Rhamnus frangula L. ssp. columnaris hort.
RHFRA Rhamnus frangula L. var. angustifolia Loudon


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Rhamnales
Family Rhamnaceae – Buckthorn family
Genus Frangula Mill. – buckthorn
Species Frangula alnus Mill. – glossy buckthorn

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Noxious Weed Information
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete noxious weed list for that location, or click here for a composite list of all Federal and State Noxious Weeds .
Connecticut glossy buckthorn Invasive, not banned
Massachusetts European buckthorn, glossy buckthorn Prohibited
Minnesota Rhamnus frangula glossy buckthorn Restricted noxious weed
New Hampshire Rhamnus frangula glossy buckthorn Prohibited invasive Species
Vermont Rhamnus frangula glossy buckthorn Class B noxious weed
U.S. Weed Information
Frangula alnus alder buckthorn columnar buckthorn fen buckthorn glossy buckthorn tall hedge buckthorn Rhamnus frangula alder buckthorn
columnar buckthorn
fen buckthorn
glossy buckthorn
tall hedge buckthorn
This plant and synonyms italicized and indented above can be weedy or invasive according to the authoritative sources noted below.This plant may be known by one or more common names in different places, and some are listed above. Click on an acronym to view each weed list, or click here for a composite list of Weeds of the U.S.
STATE Assorted authors. State noxious weed lists for 46 states . State agriculture or natural resource departments.
SEEPPC Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council. 1996. Invasive exotic pest plants in Tennessee (19 October 1999). Research Committee of the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council. Tennessee.
WI Hoffman, R.and K. Kearns (eds.). 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants . Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources. Madison, Wisconsin.

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

North America
Arid West FAC
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain FAC
Eastern Mountains and Piedmont FAC
Great Plains FAC
Midwest FACW
Northcentral & Northeast FAC
Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast FAC

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (FRAL4)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (FRAL4)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (RHFR)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (RHFRA)
USDA Forest Service Fire Effects Information System (FRAL4)
University of Tennessee Herbarium (Distribution) (FRAL4)
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium (FRAL4)
Related Websites
CT-USDA NRCS Invasive Species Identification Sheets (FRAL4)
Canada-Invasive Exotic Plant Fact Sheets (FRAL4)
MA-Massachusetts Non-Native Plant Introductions (RHFR)
ME-Invasive Plant Fact Sheets (DNR) (FRAL4)
TNC-Invasives on the Web (FRAL4)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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CalPhotos     Photo Database


Number of matches : 15
Query: SELECT * FROM img WHERE ready=1 and taxon like "Frangula alnus%" and (lifeform != "specimen_tag" OR lifeform != "Plant") ORDER BY taxon

Click on the thumbnail to see an enlargement

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0392 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0393 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0394 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0395 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0396 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0397 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0398 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0399 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
European Alder Buckthorn
ID: 0000 1111 2222 0400 [detail]
© 2016 Keir Morse

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
ID: 0000 0000 1107 0771 [detail]
© 2007 Zoya Akulova

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0911 [detail]
© 2007 Luisa Arana Navaridas

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
ID: 0000 0000 1207 0912 [detail]
© 2007 Luisa Arana Navaridas

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
ID: 0000 0000 0311 1172 [detail]
© 2011 Louis-M. Landry

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
ID: 0000 0000 0311 1173 [detail]
© 2011 Louis-M. Landry

Frangula alnus
Frangula alnus
ID: 0000 0000 0311 1174 [detail]
© 2011 Louis-M. Landry

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