Rhamnus alaternus L. Buckthorn
Sp.Pl. 1:193-194 (1753)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Thursday 12 September 1996

Erect shrub or tree, 1-6 m high. Fl. green, Jun to Nov. Sandy & loamy soils. Along rivers & creeks, flats.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain.

IBRA Subregions: Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth.

IMCRA Regions: Central West Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Cockburn, Cottesloe, Harvey, Melville, Mosman Park, Mundaring, Perth, Rockingham.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 26 August 2019

General Biology. Growth form. Shrub/Small tree. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Birds, possums, other mammals. Time to first flowering. 2 years. Vegetative regeneration strategy. Resprouts from base, can produce root suckers. Seedbank persistence. Soil, long, 5+ years. Fire response. Resprouts following fire.

Additional information. Origin. Mediterranean. History of use/introduction. Garden escape.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull seedlings and dig out small plants (<50 cm tall). Cut and paint base with 50% glyphosate or try basal bark application of 250 ml Access® in 15 L of diesel to basal 50 cm of trunk. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Flowering       O Y Y Y Y Y Y O    
Fruiting Y Y O               O Y  
Germination     Y Y Y Y              
Optimum Treatment O O Y Y Y O O O Y Y Y O  

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Converse, C.K. (1984) Element stewardship abstract for Rhamnus cathartica, Rhamnus frangula (syn. Frangula alnus). The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, USA. URL: http://tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs.html - Accessed December 2007.
  • Department of Primary Industries (2008) Invasiveness Assessment - Italian Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) in Victoria. Victorian Resources Online. Government of Victoria URL: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/invasive_italian_buckthorn - Accessed July 2009.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Muyt, A. (2001) Bush invaders of South-East Australia: A guide to the identification and control of environmental weeds found in South-East Australia. R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Navie, S. & Adkins, S. (2008) Environmental Weeds of Australia, An interactive identification and information resource for over 1000 invasive plants. Centre for Biological Information Technology, The University of Queensland.
  • Reyes, O & Trabaud, L (2009) Germination behaiviour of 14 Mediterranean species in relation to fire factors: smoke and heat.. Plant Ecology, 202: 113-121.

Project information and acknowledgements