Alder Buckthorn

Frangula alnus

Alder Dogwood, Black Alder, Frangula, Glossy Buckthorn

profile iconFrangula-alnus-fruits
by Sten Porse (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up of a fruit hanging from a tree
profile iconFrangula-alnus-fruits
by Sten Porse (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 5
This 6m shrub is not a relation of Alder but grows in the same places and has a similar appearance which is thought to be the origin of it's common name. In May & June it produces clusters of small star shaped flowers. It's glossy rounded leaves turn a yellow or red in autumn showing off the dark berries.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Unripe fruit can be harvested to obtain a green dye, while ripe fruit produce a blue or grey colour. The leaves and bark can be collected and used to produce a yellow dye. Alder Buckthorn is also used in the production of charcoal for the manufacture of gunpowder as it has an very even burn rate.

Propagation

Cuttings

Take hardwood cuttings in late summer or early autumn.

Special features

Attractive fruits

The flowers develop into small berries which ripen in late summer from green through red to darp purple or black in autumn.

Attracts bees

Attractive flowers

Petals are roughly 3–5 mm in diameter, and almost triangular in shape.

Special features

Origin

Eurasia

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Notes

This low maintenance plant is suitable for including in mixed hedges and wildlife friendly gardens. It

Personality

Family

Rhamnaceae

Flower colour

Green, White

Scent

Mild

Problems

Generally pest and disease free
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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