Large shrub or small tree that can grow to heights of 30 feet. Its bark is gray to brown with white lenticels.
Dark green leaves are shiny, alternate (sometime opposite) and simple with prominent venation.
Flowers are inconspicuous, pale greenish-yellow to yellow in color and occur in clusters in the leaf axis. Flowering occurs from May through September.
Fleshy fruit ripens from red to a dark purple or black color. You can see ripe fruit beginning about July through September.
Glossy buckthorn is particularly aggressive in wet areas, rapidly producing a dense shade that eliminates native plants. It also engages in species-specific allelopathy, changing the structure of native plant communities.
Glossy buckthorn was first introduced into the United States in the mid 1800s as an ornamental. It has been used for hedges and wildlife habitat. A variety of cultivars are still sold in some nurseries
forests, forest edges, fields, meadows, wet areas, disturbed areas
Glossy buckthorn spreads by seed, recruiting birds that eat its prolific berries. Seeds may also be spread by water since fresh fruit can float for over two weeks. Dispersal may be significant in areas that receive frequent and extensive fall and winter flooding.
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Alternate-leaved dogwood (Swida alternifolia), Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin)