Rhamnus alaternus

Rhamnus alaternus_Italian buckthorn_Ron Vanderhoff_cropped
Photo: Ron Vanderhoff

Common names: Italian buckthorn

Rhamnus alaternus (Italian buckthorn) is a shrub (family Rhamnaceae) with tiny green to white flowers and oval-shaped leaves found in the San Francisco Bay area and central and south coast ranges of California. It is native to the Mediterranean. It favors scrub and chaparral, forests, and riparian and bottomland habitat. It spreads via seed and resprouts vigorously from the base after damage. Seeds are spread by fruit-eating birds and mammals, ants and in dumped garden waste.

Cal-IPC Rating: Watch

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Risk Assessment - An evaluation of the potential for a plant to be invasive in California.

Species ID Card

Invasive Species ID Card - To support field identification of early detection species, Cal-IPC has designed a set of Species ID cards that can be downloaded, printed double-sided, and trimmed to size.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

Other Rhamnus alaternus Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Rhamnus alaternus_flowers_RonVanderhoff
    Rhamnus alaternus (Italian buckthorn) flowers. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Rhamnus alaternus_leaves and stem_RonVanderhoff
    Rhamnus alaternus (Italian buckthorn) leaves and stem. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff
    Rhamnus alaternus_growth habit_RonVanderhoff
    Rhamnus alaternus (Italian buckthorn) growth habit. Photo: Ron Vanderhoff