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Rhamnus cathartica (European Buckthorn)

Peter Selby pete.selby at zetnet.co.uk
Sun Feb 1 05:34:09 EST 1998

The message <EnoGuD.JDp.A.ebony at news.trentu.ca>
  from  llcollins at ivory.trentu.ca (Leslie) contains these words: 

> Hi All,

>  It just occurred to me that I might ask the good people at large on 
> this newsgroup for a little help with my honours thesis. I am working with 
> European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), but though I have been working 
> since Sept. 97 I have found very few references on this species, or its 
> relative Glossy Buckthorn (R. frangula).

R. frangula has a new name.  Its Frangula alnus now and has been 
since at least 1955.  Its common name in Europe is also Alder 
Buckthorn, though of course its leaves are glossy.

Both species grow in Southern England where, in Hampshire, the 
distributions are very different.  R cathartica grows on the chalk, 
while F alnus grows on the sandy more acidic ground.  F alnus is not 
however tied to very wet ground but is found all over the suitable soils.  

Neither are particularly invasive as natives, Salix cinerea and Salix 
caprea generally out compete F alnus and Euonymous europaeus and 
Cornus sanguinea (Thelycrania sanguinea) out compete R cathartica.  
Thus they are usually found as a large single shrubs, not dense stands.

 Pete Selby
(pete.selby at zetnet.co.uk)

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