General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Plant Height: 2 to 7 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Approximately 1/4 inch fleshy three seeded drupes, are red and ripen to black
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Other: Flowers have 3 Greenish-yellow sepals but no petals
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Toxicity: Fruit is poisonous
Miscellaneous: Dioecious

Common names
  • Alderleaf Buckthorn

Photo Gallery
Location: central Wisconsin
Date: 06-27-21
close shot of foliage and fruit
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 11, 2021 9:31 AM concerning plant:
    This is normally a low growing shrub of about 2 or 3 feet high, but can get to be a medium-sized shrub of 6 to 7 feet. It is native to southeast Canada, New England, New York, spots in Pennsylvania and the northern Appalachians, spots in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and most of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, and then in various areas of the northern Rocky Mountain region. Its leaves are 2 to 4.5 inches long by 3/4 to 2 1/4 inches wide with rounded marginal teeth and 5 to 8 leaf veins on each side of the leaf. At the base of the leaf stalks of new growth there are some pairs of stipules. Tiny, yellowish-green flowers look star-like with 5 sharp petals. The shiny black berries are about 1/3 inch wide with one to three seeds in each and are attached to twigs by short stalks. This Buckthorn does not have any sharp spurs that can prick a person like many other species. This shrub spreads by horizontal ground shoots called stolons. It likes part-shade and moist to draining wet soils. It is an uncommon species over most of its range. Reeseville Ridge Nursery in central Wisconsin that is a mail order nursery of rare and uncommon plants offers some plants. Unfortunately, it was reported that in one place, a crew of well-meaning volunteers wiped out a colony of this native species, wrongly thinking that all Buckthorns are evil invasive shrubs -- like the Common Buckthorn from Europe; however, there are a few American species as this one.

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