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Carolina Buckthorn

Rhamnus caroliniana

Other common name(s):

Carolina False Buckthorn, Yellow Buckthorn, Indian Cherry, Yellowwood

Family:

Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Floodplains and Low Terraces4, Mid-Coast Barrier Islands and Coastal Marshes, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Flatwoods, Floodplains and Low Terraces3, Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces, Red River Bottomlands, Southern Tertiary Uplands, Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Tree

Height

12
to
15
ft.

Spread

8
to
12
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Limestone

Light Requirement

Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White, Yellow, Green

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer

Seasonal Interest

Berry, Fall Color, Forage, Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Butterflies, Birds, Small Mammals, Deer

Maintenance

Needs 3-4 hrs of sun a day, but will do well if protected under a large tree for part of the day. Can withstand periodic flooding, but can’t take standing water. Cut back periodically if leggy. Showy fall leaf color. Propagation: Seed, Semi-hardwood cuttings, Hardwood cuttings.

Comments

Blooms April-June. Has glossy leaves. Flowers not showy, yellowish, in small clusters at the bases of the leaves. Berries formed in winter, that attracts birds. Good nectar source. Larval Host: Snout Butterfly.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonymn/s: Frangula caroliniana

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 48. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 299.. 4) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=28572#null. 5) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=FRCA13. 6) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Rhamnus+caroliniana&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 7) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=21004&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 8) Native and Adapted Landscape Plants, City of Austin and Texas A&M, 2014.