Rhamnus cathartica   Buckthorn C DD N

Rhamnus cathartica flowers Rhamnus cathartica fruit

This is another of those plants whose name has changed slightly from Rhamnus catharticus to Rhamnus cathartica. The berries of this plant were often used as a powerful purgative in the days of old. Unripe berries were boile with alum and used for making a dye to colour leather. This shrub is also the larval food plant of the Brimstone Butterfly along with Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus).

Rhamnus cathartica is a shrub which prefers basic soils and is widespread in eastern, southern and central England but scarcer in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

RHS: Ranscombe Farm, Kent 3rd June 2007 LHS: Gaitbarrows, Lancashire 12th June 2004

Added on November 17th 2005, updated 16th November 2011

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