Glossy Buckthorn
(Frangula alnus)

Name and Family

Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)


Glossy Buckthorn was introduced from Europe as an ornamental shrub. It is a very aggressive and invasive shrub with multiple stems and can grow to be twenty feet tall. Glossy Buckthorn tolerates a wide range of habitats from wetlands to woodland edges, old fields, ditches and grassy areas. Distribution is mostly by sexual reproduction with seeds often being spread by birds. On PEI Glossy Buckthorn is quite widespread throughout the Charlottetown area.

Identification Guide

Glossy Buckthorn is a large shrub with multiple stems with grey-brown spotted bark. Alternate leaves are shiny, oval-shaped with smooth edges. Leaves remain green late into the fall. The flowers are found in small hanging clusters and are white to whitish-green. The red berries turn purple or black when ripe.

What it does in the ecosystem

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