Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn)

Common Buckthorn


Bareroot from November to April

Pre-order Online »

Trees & Hedging

You can pre-order these plants from our webshop from 1st June, for delivery mid-November onwards.

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Non-trade pricing

Price £ each (ex. VAT)
Height Age 1+ 25+ 100+ 500+ 1000+
40-60cm 1+1 0.91 0.59 0.53 0.50 0.45
60-80cm 1+1 0.98 0.64 0.57 0.54 0.49

Trade / wholesale enquiries

Discounted trade / wholesale prices are available upon request.
Please contact the office for a quotation or a trade price list.

Minimum order values
Please note that there is a minimum order value of £50.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for existing customers and £75.00 + VAT, excluding delivery, for new customers. Orders under those values can be placed via Trees & Hedging, our online webshop.


Delivery to UK mainland is included for stock orders over £750 + VAT (subject to postcode surcharges). For full details on delivery, please view our delivery page.


Also sometimes known as Purging Buckthorn. A large, dense spiny deciduous shrub with a suckering habit, found in the wild mainly on chalky soils, although it will grow in most soil conditions. It is important to wildlife, its leaves being only one of two food sources for the caterpillars of the Brimstone butterfly; it is also provides food for Tiger Moth larvae and adult Brimstones are attracted to the flowers.

Site and soil

Tough and hardy, Common Buckthorn will cope with most soils and situations, including shade.

Height and spread

After 10 years: 6m x 5m
After 20 years: 6m x 5m

Leaf and bark

The leaves are a glossy dark green, oval to elliptic in shape, turning yellow in autumn before leaf fall. The bark is grey-brown with sharp spines.

Flower, seed and fruit

The flowers are small, greenish-white and are borne in the leaf axils in late spring. They are followed by spherical red berries, which ripen to black in autumn.


Woodland, hedging. Important to wildlife. A powerful laxative preparation has been made from the berries, which also yield a yellow dye.


The leaves are the food plant of both the Brimstone butterfly and Tiger Moth caterpillars. Adult brimstones are attracted to the flowers in spring, and birds eat the berries in autumn and winter.


Hedges can be pruned in July-August.