European buckthorn - Rhamnaceae Rhamnus cathartica


Common NameEuropean buckthorn
iTree CodeRHCA3

Plant Form

FormShrub or tree: large shrub or small tree, often multi-stemmed, can be hedged
Height25 feet
Spread15 feet

Identification Description

Foliageround to oval, serrate edge; resemble apple or cherry leaves Leaf Type  Information Icon Simple
Barksmooth, red/brown with lenticels, darker& scaly on older trees
Budtwo terminal buds with thorn between, lateral buds often on spur shoots; can be alternate or opposite Bud Arrangement Information Icon Opposite
Twigslender gray, can have thorny secondary twigs and spur shoots
Flowersmall yellow/green (umbel), male and female typically on separate plants
Fruitround, shiny purple/black berry-like
Fall Colorbrown/yellow

Site Characteristics

USDA Zones   info for zones pH LevelsSalt Tolerance
Min2b Min6.0 SoilModerate
Max7b Max8.0 SprayModerate

Shade ToleranceDrought ToleranceAllelopathy
Tolerant High Yes

Species Status

Nebraska Native
U.S. Native
Region of Origin
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