This small, deciduous tree or shrub with leaves that stay green into late fall. Leaves up to 12-15 cm (5") long, with a petiole as much as 1-1,5 cm (1/2") long; blade ovate to elliptic, sometimes narrow, pointed at the tip and tapered or rounded at the base, margins smooth or with very small, rounded teeth, veins prominent, especially on the lower surface; upper surface of blade smooth, bright green. Flowers not showy, yellowish, in small clusters at the bases of the leaves, opening in May and June. Fruit fleshy, 0,6 cm (1/4") or more in diameter, red, turning black when ripe.
Songbirds and other wildlife consume the berries, which apparently have medicinal properties but can be toxic. Although called a buckthorn, this species has no spines. It was discovered in South Carolina, hence the common and Latin species names.
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil, whether moderately acid or alkaline. Prefers a moist moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade.
A slow-growing and usually short-lived plant in the wild. Plants are susceptible to 'crown rust' of oats.
Genus - Rhamnus
Species - Caroliniana
Common name - Carolina Buckthorn
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Tree / shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Hardiness zones - 5 - 9
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Height - 12'-25' / 3.70 - 8 m
Spread - 15'-25' / 4.60 - 7.60 m
Growth rate - Slow
Bloom season - Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Pale Yellow
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
1. Soak the buckthorn in warm water for 24 hours. Remove the seeds from water and put them into a 10 percent bleach solution. Allow them to soak for another 20 minutes. Ten percent equals 10 parts water to one part bleach. Soaking the seeds in bleach prevents the fungal infection of cotyledon.
2. Fill 5-10 cm diameter pots with potting soil. The best time to do this is from December to early February. You can stratify for 60-90 days inside mixing the seeds after soaking with the moist vermiculite and sterile soil. Keep in the fridge at +2-+4C (40F).
3. Sow outside or after the pretreatment inside only one seed per pot, planting them at a depth of 8-10 mm deep.
4. Place the pots in a window that has bright light, but keep out of direct sunlight. Keep the soil warm around room temperature (~+20C / 68F).
5. Mist the pots to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
Keep the buckthorn shrubs in the pots for at least 3 months. Then plant outdoors in the prepared place.
Water the buckthorn shrubs once a week thoroughly.