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Glossy Buckthorn

Rhamnus frangula

Common Name: Glossy buckthorn
Scientific Name: Rhamnus frangula
Family: Rhamnaceae
Growth Form: Shrub or small tree
Native Range: North Africa, Asia, Europe
Invasive Range: From Nova Scotia to Saskatchewan, as far south as Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, and Tennessee
Introduction: The European Buckthorn was introduced as an ornamental plant.  It has been spread by birds.
Description: ·Leaves: Shiny.  Opposite and simple, elliptical shape, between 2-6 cm long, 2-5 cm at greatest width. Finely toothed; distinctive pattern of venation, with veins starting closer to the base, and running parallel to the leaf margins.   

·Twigs: Slender and grey, terminating in scaly buds or spines.  Have thorns. 

·Bark: Thin, gray-brown outer bark with light colored lenticels

·Flowers:  Flowers in late spring, producing yellow-green, bell-shaped flowers that reach 5 mm in diameter, inflorescences located at the leaf base.  Flowers have 5 petals.

·Fruit: Found in late summer and early autumn, small reddish-black berry.
Threats: The Glossy buckthorn generally invades wetlands that are similar to its native habitat.  It tends to colonize wet prairies, marshes, calcareous fens, sedge meadows, sphagnum bogs, and tamarack swamps. Glossy buckthorn forms dense thickets, shading out native vegetation, changing community composition, and decreasing biodiversity.   
Fun Facts: The bark of the glossy buckthorn can be used to make both a yellow dye and a laxative.  
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Glossy buckthorn removal
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Glossy buckthorn removal