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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > Is this plant a weed? > Woody > Glossy Buckthorn

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Glossy Buckthorn

Rhamnus frangula P. Mill.

  • Image: broadleaf Plantain
  • Image: broadleaf Plantain

Found in:

  • Old landscapes, wetland edges and moist woodlands
  • Full sun to heavy shade


  • Understory multi-stemmed shrub or small tree reaching 20-25’ in height
  • Shrubs have a spreading, loosely-branched growing habit
  • Rough grey-brown bark
  • Hairy buds are at the end of gracefully arching twigs
  • Leaves are thin, glossy, oval or elliptical; underside of leaf can be hairy or smooth; leaf edge (margin) is smooth (no teeth)
  • Red fruit turns dark at maturity; fruits of varying maturity are present at the same time


  • Minnesota Restricted Noxious Weed that aggressively invades wetlands and moist woodlands
  • Illegal to import, sell, or transport in Minnesota
  • Upright columnar form of plant was previously sold in the nursery trade

Plants that look similar:

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