- European buckthorn, buckthorn, European waythorn, Hart's thorn, Rhineberry
- A small tree or coarse shrub. Deciduous, growing up to 20 feet tall.
- short .75-2.5 inches long
- opposite or nearly opposite
- thorn-tipped branches
- inner layer of bark has a reddish tinge
- yellowish-green four-sepaled flowers, on short stalks growing in clusters from leaf axils. Male and female flowers are typically found on separate plants. Flowers from May to June.
- black drupes
- 0.25 inches across
- found along roadsides, in woods and edge of woods
- prefers dry soil
- seeds are dispersed by birds
Key ID Features:
- spine-tipped branches
- pointed, four-petaled flowers
- reddish inner bark
- Glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) is another invasive plant that is not yet recorded on nantucket. It has alternate leaves, no spines on the ends of the branches, and obovate leaves that are wider at the tips. Glossy buckthorn also tolerates more moisture and requires more light than Common buckthorn.
- Common buckthorn can form dense stands and can exclude the growth of native plants
- due to its dispersal by birds this plant is easily distributed
- This species is not known on Nantucket as of December 2006.
Growth Form: Shrub, Tree
Origin: Europe, Asia
Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Potential Invasive
Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Invasive
Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: importation ban, propagation ban