Glossy Buckthorn, Alder Buckthorn, Fernleaf Buckthorn, or Tallhedge Buckthorn
Frangula alnus 'Columnaris'

Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Frangula (FRANG-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: alnus (AL-nus) (Info)
Cultivar: Columnaris
Synonym:Rhamnus frangula
Synonym:Rhamnus frangus var. angustifolia

Category:

Trees

Height:

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Spacing:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

May be a noxious weed or invasive

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

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

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Elyria, Ohio

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
0
neutrals
3
negatives
RatingContent
Negative

On Jul 5, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This Tallhedge Glossy Buckthorn was first brought forth in the 1970's in the Midwest and was planted a fair amount in the 1980's usually as a screen or unclipped hedge. It is not planted as much as it used to be because it gets some significant damage by a stem canker disease of Tubercularia. Recently, in June 2015, I saw a group, not a screen or unclipped hedge, of this cultivar planted at a northern Ohio rest stop on the Ohio Turnpike (#80). They were somewhat straggly with some dead areas. It is not a wonderful ornamental. It bears fruit that brings forth plants that are columnar or not. The birds could spread this plant to the wild where it becomes an invasive Eurasian plant in North America.

Negative

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

With shrub honeysuckles, glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus, Rhamnus frangula) 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.

Negative

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."