Ed Golson Outdoor Education

glossy buckthorn

Scientific Name: Rhamnus frangula 

Description: Glossy buckthorn is a woody shrub or small tree that can reach a height of up to 20 feet. The bark of this plant is grayish-brown with many small lightly colored speckles. When the buckthorn stems are cut, you can see that the wood inside is yellow or orange. The leaves of this shrub are oval shaped, 1 to 3 inches long, and shiny on top. They also have a somewhat wavy appearance.  

The flowers on a glossy buckthorn have 5 petals and are a pale green in color. Its fruit starts off as a red color and then turn dark purple as they ripen.

Habitat: Glossy buckthorn grows best in wetlands like swamps or bogs, but it will also grow along roadsides and old field. 

What's the Problem? : Glossy buckthorn is an invasive plant that was originally native to Europe and Asia. Since it has gotten here it has spread very quickly and aggressively into all sorts of new areas. When it does get started, it grows very quickly and will shade out native plants. It is also hard to kill because if any part of the root is left living in the soil, they will quickly sprout many new shoots, making the plant bigger than before

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