Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc.


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Glossy Buckthorn

Glossy Buckthorn

Glossy buckthorn

(Frangula alnus)

General description:

Tall understory shrub or small tree grows up to 20’ tall, often with several stems arising from the base, and spreading crown. Gray to brown bark with prominent light-colored lenticels. (Caution: native plums and cherries have a similar bark). Cut bark or branch exposes yellow-orange inner bark.

Ecological threat:

  • Invades wetlands including acidic bogs, calcareous fens, and sedge meadows. It also grows well in a variety of upland habitats and tolerates full sun to deep shade.
  • It can form dense, even-aged thickets, reducing light availability for understory species and preventing native tree regeneration.
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