European Buckthorn
Rhamnus cathartica
Family Rhamnaceae

* Leaves broadly elliptical, with fine wavy teeth. Side veins long and curved. Green above, paler beneath.
* Leaves mostly opposite, sometimes clustered on short spurs.
* Twigs slender, smooth, ending in pointed scaly buds or sharp spines.
* Fruits black, berrylike, 1/4" in diameter.
* Flowers bell-shaped, with 4 pointed greenish-yellow sepals
* Height: Up to 20'.

Natural History:
* Flowers in late spring.
* Fruits in late summer and autumn.
* Habitat: Dry soils in clearings and forests, roadsides, along fences.
* Range: Native to Asia and Europe, naturalized in southeastern Canada, eastern United States.
* Introduced from Asia and Europe.

* The European buckthorn is a hardy shrub that's been cut into hedges for centuries. It's been used as a laxative and a cathartic...hence the Latin name cathartica.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008