European buckthorn (Ramnus cathartica)


May 3, 2008, Broadway Ave. at Brown's Inlet. Photo on right, May 22, 2008 Leaves are roundish to oval, toothed, opposite (sometimes sub-opposite), shiny.


April 24, 2008, Broadway Ave. at Brown's Inlet. The olive-brown colour with the prominent white lenticels of these young trees makes it quite distinct from the surrounding shrubbery. Older trees have birch-like bark, though darker.


March 14, 2009, Broadway Ave. at Brown's Inlet. This needs to be confirmed as the right identification. The buds are like small furry mice, or little brown bats.


May 22, 2008


June 14, 2008 - Early fruit. Buckthorn fruit have three unevenly rounded stones. April 17, 2009. Last year's fruit, often noted on branches here and there.

Special features

Terminal thorn visible in photo.

Similar species

Glossy buckthorn leaves are generally toothless, and there are no terminal thorns on the shoots. European buckthorn have fine teeth and terminal thorns. In practice, I find that these differentiating features may not always hold. List of trees and shrubs with opposite, simple, toothed leaves