glossy buckthorn

Rhamnales > Rhamnaceae > Frangula alnus P. Mill.
Synonym(s): alder buckthorn

Glossy buckthorn is a large shrub or small tree that can grow to heights of 30 ft. (9.1 m). The dark green leaves are shiny, alternate (sometime opposite) and simple with prominent venation. The flowers are inconspicuous, pale yellow in color and occur in clusters in the leaf axis. Flowering occurs in the spring. The fleshy fruit ripens to a dark purple color. The bark is gray to brown with white lenticels. It 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. Glossy buckthorn is native to Europe and was first introduced into the United States in the mid 1800s as an ornamental.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Diagram or Graphic; 1. Flowering branchlet. – 2. Mature shoot with fruits in different ripening stages. – 3. Seedling with first ordinary leaves (germination is hypogeous). – 4. Stone viewed from different aspects. – 5. Winter-branchlet. Naked buds on spurs arranged in helical order. After Hempel & Wilhelm, 1889. Photos and explanations from the book: Zelimir Borzan. "Tree and Shrub Names in Latin, Croatian, English, and German, with synonyms", University of Zagreb, 2001.
Zelimir Borzan, University of Zagreb, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Close-up of pinnately veined leaves
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Close-up of flowers and fruits
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Poland
Gil Wojciech, Polish Forest Research Institute, Bugwood.org
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Stem(s);
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Root(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Steve Manning, Invasive Plant Control, Bugwood.org


Fruit(s); November
Steve Manning, Invasive Plant Control, Bugwood.org


Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Diagram or Graphic; Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 2: 504.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Massachusetts - Noxious Weed Law
  • New Hampshire - Noxious Weed Law
  • Vermont - Noxious Weed Law
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England


External Links


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