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Frangula alnus
Glossy buckthorn

Glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) is a shrub or small, multi-stemmed tree. It is native to a large temperate area across Europe, from Portugal in west to western China in east.

The tree’s wood is soft and used for high quality charcoal and gunpowder, while its bark, fruit and leaves are utilized for producing dyes and local medicine. Traditionally, the wood has been used for making nails and shoe lasts. Different cultivars are also grown for ornamental value and as informal hedges. Ecologically, the shrub serves as a food source for rodents and birds during the winter.

Glossy buckthorn is a light-demanding species, able to colonize disturbed areas, forest edges, riverbanks and dry and rocky sites. It is quite adaptable and found in various open forest communities throughout its range. The plant thrives in moist soils, in elevations up to 2000 m.

Glossy buckthorn was introduced in the United States in the 19th century as an ornamental and is considered highly invasive today. 

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