Rhamnus (Buckthorn) RAM-nus
Common (Rhamnus cathartica) and glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus syn. Rhamnus frangula) are two small trees introduced from Europe and East Asia, respectively. Their showy fruit display and hardy foliage made them popular ornamentals and now highly competitive invaders of eastern woods and wetlands. Both species have naturalized throughout the United States, particularly the lake states and the Northeast. The name of these species originates from the habit of their young branches to break off and form sharp “thorns,” though neither species bears true spines or thorns.