- Rhamnus cathartica is a deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow to 25 ft. (7.6 m) in height. The bark is dark gray and the inner bark is orange (easily seen when the tree is cut). Twigs are usually tipped with a sharp spine.
- The leaf arrangement is usually sub-opposite, but examples of opposite and/or alternate arrangements are commonly found. Leaves are dark green, oval, 1.5-3 in. (3.8-7.6 cm) long, slightly serrate with 3 to 4 pairs of curving veins and a somewhat folded tip.
- Flowering occurs in the spring, with fragrant, yellow-green, 4-petaled flowers developing in clusters of 2 to 6 near the base of the petioles. Plants are dioecious (male and female flowers occur on separate plants).
- Appearing in the fall, the small, purple to black fruit are 0.25 in. (0.6 cm) in diameter. The fruit contains 3-4 seeds. Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit and disperse the seeds.
- Ecological Threat
- Rhamnus cathartica invades forests, prairies, and savannas in the Midwestern United States and can form dense thickets crowding out native shrubs and understory plants. It is difficult to remove and can regenerate after cutting or burning. It is a native of Europe and was introduced into the United States as an ornamental shrub.
- Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy
- Invasive Plant Atlas of New England - University of Connecticut
- Nonnative Plants of Wisconsin - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance
- Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service
- Fact Sheet - Ontarios Invading Species Awareness Program
- Best Management Practices - Ontarios Invading Species Awareness Program
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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org
Invasive Listing Sources
- City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
- Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
- Connecticut Invasive Plant List
- Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
- EDDMapS Ontario
- Faith Campbell, 1998
- Great Lakes Early Detection Network
- Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
- Illinois Exotic Weed Act
- Illinois Invasive Plant List
- Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
- Invasive Plant Council of New York State
- Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
- John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
- Massachusetts Noxious Weeds
- Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 1998
- Minnesota Noxious Weeds
- Missouri Department of Conservation,
- New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee. 2005. Guide to Invasive Upland Plant Species in New Hampshire. New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food Plant Industry Division and New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee.
- New Hampshire Prohibited Invasive Species
- New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
- Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.
- Reichard, Sarah. 1994. Assessing the potential of invasiveness in woody plants introduced in North America. University of Washington Ph.D. dissertation.
- Rhode Island Natural History Society,
- Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
- Vermont Noxious Weeds
- WeedUS - Database of Plants Invading Natural Areas in the United States
- Wisconsin's Invasive Species Identification, Classification and Control Rule
Other System LinksPlants: RHCA3
NPDN Pest: PEJAGBC
NPDN Host: 34032
|Common Name Reference:|| Weed Science Society of America Common Names List|
|Scientific Name Reference:||USDA, NRCS. 2010. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.|