Glossy leaves and red turning deep purple-blue berries in autumn are the attractive features of this buckthorn. A deciduous, hardy large shrub to small tree, it is native to much of Europe, extending into extreme northern Africa and western Asia. This plant has proven invasive in the moist soils across much of eastern North America.
With smooth grayish brown bark, the glossy green to dark green leaves add interest to the plant. Each leaf blade is oval and ends in a pronounced tip that often has a tiny curl; the parallel veins that angle outwards from the leaf midrib are interesting. In spring, tiny pale yellow-white flowers appear in clusters at the bases of leaves at branch tips. After pollination by bees, small oval berries form, first green and then becoming red and finally a deep purple or dark blue in autumn. Birds will eat these fruits, and drop the seeds across the landscape, resulting in masses of seedlings and thickets, particularly in moist soils. The foliage remains deep green throughout the fall.
Grow it in full to partial sun in any average soil, keeping in mind moist soils will result in faster and more agressive growth tendencies. In fact, in order to lessen its potential invasiveness, do not plant in regions with rich, moist soils.
It can be an ornamental shade tree.
Information source: http://www.learn2grow.com/plants/frangula-alnus/
Genus - Frangula
Species - Alnus
Common name - Alder Buckthorn
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 8
Height - 3 - 7 m
Spread - 3 - 8 m
Plant type - Tree, Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acid, neutral, alkaline
Soil type - Clay, loam
Water requirements - Average, Drought tolerant
Bloom season - Late Spring
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White, light yellow
1. Soak the buckthorn in warm water for 48 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 days inside mixing the seeds after soaking with the moist vermiculite and sterile soil. Keep in the fridge at +2-+4C.
3. Sow outside or after the pretreatment inside only one seed per pot, planting them at a depth of 2-5 cm 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).
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.
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