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PlantFiles: Glossy Buckthorn, Alder Buckthorn, Fernleaf Buckthorn, or Tallhedge Buckthorn
Frangula alnus 'Ron Williams'

Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Frangula (FRANG-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: alnus (AL-nus) (Info)
Cultivar: Ron Williams
Additional cultivar information: (PP14791, aka Fine Line Ron Williams)
Hybridized by R. Williams; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2003

Synonym:Rhamnus frangula
Synonym:Rhamnus frangus var. angustifolia

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)
USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)
USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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Thumbnail #1 of Frangula alnus by jakestick1

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2 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative coriaceous On Feb 11, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

With shrub honeysuckles, glossy buckthorn often forms solid understories in natural forest areas of northeastern North America. Like the honeysuckles, it leafs out very early, shading out the native herbaceous layer.

This spiny invasive species is a listed noxious weed, invasive, or banned in five states. Birds eat the fruit and then distribute the seed far and wide through the landscape.

This species was used for hedging in the 19th century, but it went out of use as better hedging plants became available.

Neutral sybsflowers On Jun 27, 2013, sybsflowers from Overland Park, KS wrote:

Five years ago the landscaper planted 3 of these 'hedges' on either side of my entrance. He led me to believe that they would not go above 6 feet. Three of them have and the other 2 have not. One of them died. They are still rather narrow and I would like to trim the tall ones to the size of the smaller ones without just chopping off the top. Any suggestions?

Positive janaestone On May 16, 2010, janaestone from (Di) Seven Mile, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have had this for 6 years in the same spot. It comes back beautifully every year but hardly gains anything in height - very slow grower.

Negative distantkin On Mar 15, 2008, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

MN DNR states "European or common buckthorn and glossy or alder buckthorn are listed as restricted noxious weeds in Minnesota. It is illegal to import, sell, or transport buckthorn in Minnesota."

Positive jakestick1 On Oct 25, 2004, jakestick1 from New York, NY (Zone 6a) wrote:

Great small tree for small property


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Boise, Idaho
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Blissfield, Michigan
Grandview, Missouri
Crete, Nebraska
New York City, New York
Hamilton, Ohio
Salt Lake City, Utah
Bellingham, Washington

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