Frangula Species, Carolina Buckthorn, Indian Cherry

Frangula caroliniana

Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Frangula (FRANG-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: caroliniana (kair-oh-lin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Frangula caroliniana var. mollis
Synonym:Frangula fragilis
Synonym:Rhamnus caroliniana
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

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

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama

Cord, Arkansas

Harrison, Arkansas

Huntington, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Christiana, Tennessee

Dickson, Tennessee

Pulaski, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas(4 reports)

Belton, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Moody, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Pflugerville, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Vienna, Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 10, 2014, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

What a great plant! It's offers a little bit of everything. It grows well with little sun and is very drought tolerant. I planted my first one this past Winter and it bloomed and produced quite a few berries for such a small tree. It seems to be very happy and the birds love the fruit that's finally turning black, after staying red all summer. The fruits are very attractive for quite some time. I've been more than impressed. It's too early to determine whether or not it'll provide good Fall color here but regardless more will be planted in my wooded preserve.


On Jul 21, 2010, Super65 from Moffat, TX wrote:

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 ... read more