Page author: David Giblin
Rhamnus alnifolia
alder-leaf buckthorn

Distribution: Occurring in the northeast corner of Washington; British Columbia east to Quebec, east of the Cascades to Idaho, Montana and the central Sierra Nevada of California.

Habitat: Moist ground, expecially along streams, at moderate to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Deciduous, dioecious shrub 0.5-1.5 m. tall, erect to rounded.


Leaves alternate, the blades thin, 6-11 cm. long, oblong-ovate to oblong-elliptic, closely glandular-serrulate, the main lateral veins 5-7; stipules oblong, 3-6 mm. long.


Flowers 2-4 in axillary, sessile umbels, developing with the leaves, about 5 mm. broad; both staminate and pistillate flowers have vestiges of the other essential organs; calyx shallowly bell-shaped, 5-lobed; petals lacking.


Berry 6-8 mm. long, bluish-black, 3-seeded.

Accepted Name:
Rhamnus alnifolia L'Hér.
Publication: Sert. Angl. 5. 1788.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Rhamnus alnifolia in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Rhamnus alnifolia checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Rhamnus alnifolia atlas page.

CalPhotos: Rhamnus alnifolia photos.

USDA Plants: Rhamnus alnifolia information.

18 photographs:
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