Rhamnus cathartica / buckthorn

Rhamnus cathartica or buckthorn is a deciduous shrub or small tree

Rhamnus cathartica (Bot.)
Common buckstorn (Eng.)
Nerprun commun, nerprun cathartique, noirprun (French)
Kreuzdorn (German)
Rhamnaceae – failure by family

Buckthorn is a deciduous shrub or small tree (up to 8 m) with a rounded crown. As the name suggests, it often grows along roads, ie forest. During our walks we usually look at the more prominent plants such as trees, but the bushes along our path we usually pay not much attention. Spork Wood and buckthorn are so prevalent in our country, it’s worth it to learn more about it.

plant Characteristics

Buckthorn is usually larger than buckthorn. The branches often end in takdorens. The buds have a clear, brownish purple with knopschub gefransde edges. The leaves are oval and focused with a fine serrated edges. They are 4 -7 inches long. The three to five pairs veins are curved. The blade tip is often slightly twisted.

Buckthorn blooms in late May, early June. The flowers are greenish-yellow foursomes, free discreet and smell unpleasant. Buckthorn often dioecious, meaning they only carry male or female flowers.

The round stone fruits are big and peas contain 2-4 seeds. They are blue-black when ripe and juicy. The unripe berries are poisonous.

The bark of the trunks and older branches is gray-brown, furrowed cork, and dotted with many pores.


Buckthorn is almost everywhere in Europe except in northern Scandinavia.

He is also found in North America, where in some areas a real invasion of buckthorn has taken place.

It grows preferably on calcareous sand – and peat.

In the Netherlands, buckthorn quite rare. We think including him in calcareous dunes, the Achterhoek, South Limburg. In small quantities it grows in stream valleys of central Brabant and Drenthe. He is an important part of the dune thickets in South Holland. There he formed a plant community with wild rose, barberry, hawthorn, wild-rose and spindle tree.


The Latin word was then for several gedoornde Rhamnus shrubs. Catharticus purgative means, ie, bowel cleansing.


The wood is pale red-brown sapwood around a nucleus. It is hard and tough and a cross section showing the structure flamed. It is suitable for small cuts – and turning.

The pharmacy and health store is automatically available through syrup. It is used for constipation, but should never be given to children.


Rhamnus saxatilis (rock buckthorn) is a low shrub with thorny branches in mountainous regions of southern Europe to a height of 1300 m grows.

Rhamnus oleoïdes is an evergreen, thorny shrub that only 1 m high. It is found in the dry regions of the Mediterranean.

Rhamnus pumila is a dwarf shrub with thornless branches that we found on rocky slopes, especially on limestone in the Pyrenees and southern Alps.

Rhamnus alpina grows in the mountains of southwest – and Europe is about 3 m high.


Because this plant serves as host for a fungus that include oats can greatly affect may buckthorn in many countries within a distance of 200 m from a farm to be found. The damage by this fungus is characterized by patches of orange dots on the leaves.

The caterpillars of the brimstone prefer to live on buckthorn and buckthorn.

This entry was posted in Trees and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s