Hardiness: USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Danger: All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Pale Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Foliage: Grown for foliage Deciduous Shiny/Glossy-Textured Good Fall Color
Other details: This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Soil pH requirements: 5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic) 5.6 to 6.0 (acidic) 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline) 7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)
This little tree is very common as an understory in Mother Neff state park. Most of them are less than 10' and thinly leaved. I have seen others in Bell County in more open conditions that are larger. The leaves are richly dark and the berries are attractive.
It would make an interesting landscape selection.
On Jul 20, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
This is small, deciduous native tree or shrub can reach a height of 20 ft., but usually is 12-15 ft. tall. It has a spreading crown of many slender branches and angled twigs which lack thorns (even though it is named "buckthorn"). It has a multi-trunked habit and form that requires pruning or training to produce a small tree. It was discovered in South Carolina which explains its common and Latin species names. It has a moderate growth rate and is found most often over basic rock.
The 2" to 6" alternate, simple, glossy, elliptical to oblong leaves are dark green. They have a fine teeth. The veins are parallel; but, near edges of the leaf turn and follow the edge. They are to a slight degree paler beneath. In fall, the leaves turn yellow. The smooth gray-brown bark may have darker blotches and a few slightly raised lenticels. It may become shallowly fissured on larger stems. The reddish brown with gray pubescent, slender twigs have a strong almond smell when broken. The fuzzy brown naked buds are quite distinctive.
The showy, 1/3 inch, red berries which turn black by mid-fall and contain 3 seeds appear in small clusters. They are preceded by pale green to yellow bloom clusters. The bell-shaped, very small, inconspicuous blooms appear in the leaf axils after the tree the leafs out in the spring. Songbirds and other wildlife consume the berries.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions: