Alder Buckthorn (Frangula alnus)
Alder Buckthorn, Frangula alnus, has glossy leaves that turn yellow, contrasting with black berries in the Autumn. Alder Buckthorn prefers damp, peaty sites, and unlike Purging or Common Buckthorn, is thornless. Both Buckthorns are, however, the only foodplants of the Brimstone butterfly, which makes them an obligatory part of any butterfly garden. Frangula alnus is native across most of Europe and Western Asian and owes its botanical name to its brittle wood.
Value For Wildlife
It is a good hedge plant; put one in a hedge facing South or in any sheltered position and you will find yourself breeding Brimstones sooner rather than later. We have two stands of Alder Buckthorn in our garden to do exactly this, but their insignificant flowers have also - surprisingly - turned out to be magnets for bees. Birds eat its berries, but they are toxic to us.
Plants For Sale
Provenance certificates are available on request for our Frangula alnus plants, which are from the Southwest of England.
Suppliers: Perrie Hale Forest Nursery
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See our planting and size guide for details and tips on planting Alder Buckthorn.
These Alder Buckthorn plants are all bare root, and are consequently available for delivery from November until March (please ask if you are interested in pot grown plants). During the lifting season there may be up to two weeks delay between placing the order and dispatching, due to weather conditions or pressure of orders, which are dealt with in date sequence. Orders for Alder Buckthorn placed between March and September are confirmed in October ready for dispatch from November.