Department of Natural Resources
buckthorn Rhamnus frangula
buckthorn is a shrub native to Eurasia. It is recognized by its alternate,
simple leaves, green flowers and red fruits, which turn black with age.
The bark is smooth and covered with prominent lenticels, or pores, and
the inner wood has a distinctive yellow color. Since being planted as
an ornamental, this shrub has invaded fens, bogs and other wetlands, especially
in northeastern Illinois. It has a vigorous root system, and sprouts vigorously
following fires or other injuries. It produces fruit at a very early age,
and mature plants produce thousands of seeds. Its control is very difficult
because it is often mingled with desirable native vegetation.
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