Glossy Buckthorn Rhamnus frangula
Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn)
Branching: Alternate

Like Common Buckthorn, this introduced shrub is mainly found near cities and areas that were once cleared.  It is quite distinctive as it has small, hairy and naked end buds, unlike any other species.  When young it tends to have few (or a single) stem but as it ages, younger stems sprout up around it, giving older plants a very dense, shrubby appearance.  

The distinctive end bud of Glossy Buckthorn

Another look at the end bud and a lateral bud (notice the raised leaf scars)

Young bark

Glossy buckthorn fruits.  They are not usually present in the winter (unlike Common Buckthorn)

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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