Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn)
|Price £ each (ex. VAT)|
Bareroot from November to April
The prices above are offered as a guide and may be subject to fluctuation dependant upon the time of season and supply. We recommend that contact is made with the office for larger orders, a quotation and to check availability Alternatively please contact us to enquire about opening a wholesale account.
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.