Alder buckthorn

Alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) is a deciduous shrub native to Europe and Asia. It has glossy green leaves, inconspicuous spring flowers, and dark, berry-like fruits that provide food for wildlife.

The Appearance

A small deciduous tree or shrub with a rounded crown and dark green, ovate leaves that turn yellow in autumn. It produces small, inconspicuous greenish-white flowers followed by red to black berries.


The Produce

The flowers are radially symmetrical and lack showy petals.


The Flowers

Produces small, greenish-white flowers in spring and summer, followed by red berries that turn black when ripe.


The Leaves

They are arranged alternately on the branches.


The Bark

The bark is smooth and dark gray, becoming fissured with age.


The Habitat

Prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. Commonly found in woodlands and wetlands.


The Ecology

Provides habitat and food for various wildlife, including birds and insects. The berries are eaten by birds, and the leaves are food for certain butterfly larvae.


The Culture

Historically valued for its bark, which was used in traditional medicine as a laxative. The berries were also used for dyeing.


Fun Facts

Alder Buckthorn is known for its use in traditional medicine and for the bright red color its berries produce when used as a dye. It is also important for certain species of butterflies, whose larvae feed on its leaves.

The Connection To Burton Constable

bchp info coming soon