(Rhamnus cathartica; Frangula alnus)


Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) was likely first introduced to North America in the late 1700's by colonial settlers, who used the plant medicinally. It now thrives in Minnesota’s wooded landscapes, pushing out native plants important for erosion control and wildlife.

Buckthorn has been linked to another major invasive species in recent years. Soybean aphids, currently the number one insect threat to Minnesota soybean growers, lay their eggs on buckthorn for the winter. Buckthorn can also host the fungus responsible for oat crown rust.

Research Connection

Current research is aimed at more reliable control of buckthorn, with a long-term goal of minimizing its harmful impact. Among the innovative methods of control being tested by MITPPC scientists: planting native species to “outshade” buckthorn seedlings and strategically utilizing grazing goats.

Read More

Videos: Year-round steps to identify & manage buckthorn (for growers) | UMN Extension

Videos: Tangled Ecosystem: Soybean aphid and buckthorn | UMN Extension

What you can do to control buckthorn | Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Buckthorn: What you should do, what you should know (.pdf) | Minnesota DNR

Battling buckthorn to restore natural resistance | Science Museum of Minnesota

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