- 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.