A reputation for causing a bang. Alder buckthorn is used to make gunpowder, pigments and dyes. It’s a beloved plant of the brimstone butterfly.
- Common Name(s): alder buckthorn, glossy buckthorn, breaking buckthorn
- Scientific name: Frangula alnus
- Family: Rhamnaceae
- Origin: Native
ALDER BUCKTHORN FACTS
Alder buckthorn has been used medicinally as a gentle laxative since at least the middle Ages.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH:
Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea)
which is not spiny.
purging buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
this has opposite as opposed to alternate leaves.
ALDER BUCKTHORN STATISTICS
- Status:deciduous, locally native shrub or small tree
- Height:small (4–6 metres)
- Girth:potentially to 1+ metres
- Longevitypotentially to 150+ years
- DistributionWidespread, but scarce, in England and Wales.
Mature trees can reach a height of 6 metres. When exposed, the outside bark is dark brown, but the inner bark is bright yellow. The branches and stems are smooth and thornless, unlike typical buckthorn. The twigs are purple-brown in colour with thin white streaks and are smooth and straight. It is linked to purging buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).