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Alder buckthorn

Alder buckthorn

If you are looking for a robust shrub with a long flowering period, you should buy alder buckthorn. It is ideal for planting a wild hedge or as a border planting in a modern garden design.

   
 
Alder Buckthorn

Rhamnus frangula: an ecologically very valuable, native and also undemanding ornamental...

£14.90 *

Alder Buckthorn 'Asplenifolia'

Rhamnus frangula 'Asplenifolia', the robust ornamental shrub with delicate foliage

£10.90 *

Alder Buckthorn 'Fine Line'®

Rhamnus frangula 'Fine Line' is very elegant to due its small, elongated leaves and its...

From £19.90 *

Alder Buckthorn 'Minaret'

Rhamnus frangula 'Minaret' has a columnar habit and oval leaves

£23.40 *

   
 

More useful information about Alder buckthorn

Also known as the common black alder (Rhamnus frangula), which is native to our latitudes, this plant grows quickly as a beautiful large shrub and its ecological importance is immense: the flowers, which appear in droves in the spring, are popular with all kinds of insects, and the reddish black berries are a popular autumn food for various bird species.

The garden forms of the alder buckthorn also have a lot to offer: They have a particularly attractive, slender silhouette, filigree foliage and they are also convincing as potted plants on balconies and terraces. Take a look at our versatile Lubera® assortment – these plants bring an elegant flair to any location!

 

Buy alder buckthorn - an opaque hedge plant or decorative column

The different varieties from the Lubera® range remain compact in growth and the column forms set special accents in the garden. The small berries are particularly striking and are used to decorate the trees from July onwards. These can be admired on the shrubs at all stages of ripening - from green to red, to black.

The columnar ‘Fine Line’ scores with its pale green, lance-shaped foliage and its relatively large flowers.

The fern-leaved 'Asplenifolia' has a loose habit, a delicate, deeply incised foliage and is particularly suitable for a Japanese garden, e.g. in combination with bamboo.

'Minaret' shines with umbel-like, white flowers, tightly upright growth and a striking yellow autumn colouring - it is an excellent solitary shrub.

Interesting facts about the alder buckthornAlder buckthorn

The genus Frangula belongs to the family Rhamnaceae. Botanically speaking, alder buckthorn is (was) also assigned to the genus Rhamnus. In contrast to Purgier's buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), the alder type has no thorns. It has its natural habitat in Central Europe as far as Western Siberia and Morocco. In its original form, the shrub grows with several stems and branches. It thrives as a large shrub (up to 6 metres high) and it rarely develops as a tree. The natural habitat of the alder buckthorn includes birch swamps and light forests. Black alder trees are heart-rooted and are therefore very suitable, for example, for the reinforcement of embankments.

This plant is ecologically very valuable as a bee pasture and bird food. In addition, even a single shrub in the garden can create good egg deposition sites for the pretty brimstone butterfly!

Medical use

The alder buckthorn has been known as a medicinal plant since the 14th century. The bark of the black alder is used - even in modern medicine - as a herbal laxative. The "anthranoids" it contains have a medicinal effect. In the large intestine, the substances promote the influx of water and electrolytes into the intestinal tract, which accelerates emptying.

Toxicity

Despite the medicinal benefits, all of the plant components of the alder buckthorn are poisonous. The berries should not be eaten by humans! Furthermore, do not be tempted to use the fresh bark as a laxative: violent vomiting could be the result!

Name

If you buy this plant, you should not be put off the slight rotten smell of the fresh bark, which is actually only noticeable when it is scarified. This is an extremely skilful defence technique of the tree to spoil the appetite of predators. This invention should, therefore, be appreciated, especially since the bark of the black alder tree also has the aforementioned medical benefits.

The term "powdered wood" (Pulverholz in German), on the other hand, comes from its historical use until the 19th century when the charcoal of the shrub was used to prepare black powder for firearms or as blasting powder. The charcoal of the rotten tree was highly valued at that time because of its low ash content.

The generic term 'Frangula' is derived from the Latin frangere (to break), which indicates that the wood of the alder buckthorn is light and soft. In the past, it was used for turnery and carpentry.

Location

This plant prefers a fresh to moist location - but it also thrives on drier sites. The roots are tolerant of moisture, but there should be no permanent waterlogging in the garden. It can be planted in full sun as well as in light shade. This shrub does not place many demands on the soil, but the pH value should tend to be in the acidic range.

Care

Before planting, you should add some compost to the garden soil. In the beginning, you should water your shrub regularly in the garden, even later during long dry periods. Covering the root are with mulch also protects against drying out. As a potted plant, it should be watered daily if possible (without creating waterlogging). Regular composting in the spring is beneficial, otherwise, this plant needs little care.

Pruning

You should carry out a maintenance pruning in the spring (on a frost-free day and with an overcast sky), during which dead and disturbing branches are removed. Old branches with dark wood should also be cut out from time to time in favour of rejuvenation. It is best to cut at an angle and just above one eye. This buckthorn can also be cut back to the trunk if necessary. If a maintenance cut is not made for several years, it will lose its shape and age from the inside out.

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