Trees of Wisconsin

Rhamnus frangula L.
glossy buckthorn
Family: Rhamnaceae
invasive species
tree branch leaf flowers fruit buds bark

Rhamnus frangula can be recognized by the alternate, shiny leaves with entire margins (no teeth) and the densely brown hairy buds. Fruits are red during ripening and eventually turn nearly black, usually containing 2 or 3 seeds. The leaves remain green and healthy deep into the Fall, often long after the other species have lost their leaves.

This species is a very aggressive invasive species in wet forests and can form nearly pure stands on some sites. It has been found throughout Wisconsin, but is not yet common in the northern counties. It seems certain to displace most of the native plants from large areas of wet forest along the west shore of Green Bay where it has already reached epidemic proportions in some areas. As is the case with Rhamnus cathartica, it produces numerous fruits, readily eaten by birds which carry the seeds to new locations. Cut stumps sprout vigorously and control methods generally require the cut stumps to be treated with an herbicide. Small plants can be pulled by hand.

known Wisconsin distribution


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