Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) & Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)

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Common Buckthorn
Both species are shrubs and were introduced before 1800. Both are native to Europe, Asia and
northern Africa.
Identification:

  • Buckthorn species are difficult to separate when not in fruit.
  • Consult referenced websites for distinguishing features.
The Problem:
Non-native buckthorns are highly invasive and are easily overlooked due to their similarity to native cherry species (Prunus sp.) and native buckthorns. Both species spread rapidly due to prolific fruit production, forming impenetrable stands. Birds are the primary dispersal agents.