Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > Is this plant a weed? > Woody > Common Buckthorn
Rhamnus cathartica L.
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- Old landscapes, upland woods and many other habits
- Multi-stemmed shrub to small tree, growing 10-20’ tall with an upright oval form
- Leaves are egg-shaped with finely toothed edges, very dark, and dull green
- Plants leaf out in early spring and retain their leaves well into winter; leaves do not change color before being shed
- Twigs have a sharp thorn at each tip
- Bark is rough, grey-brown in color
- Small glossy black, berry-like fruits borne in clusters; fruits remain on plant well into winter; each fruit has 3-4 seeds
- Minnesota Restricted Noxious Weed that is extremely aggressive on lowland and upland sites; crowds or shades out native shrubs and wildflowers
- Illegal to import, sell, or transport in Minnesota
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