The Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) known as the purging buckthorn, is a deciduous plant with mid green leaves turning to beautiful autumn foliage. Buckthorn produces yellowish green flowers which turn into small greenish fruits. Buckthorn is loved by birds and a variety of wildlife but the fruits are inedible to humans. The flower of the Buckthorn is attractive to the Brimstone butterfly.
Buckthorn will grow on chalky soils but does need a sunnier position.
Buckthorn has small spines and is therefore a good choice if a degree of security is required and can be mixed into a native hedge. The bark can irritate the skin, so useful providing a good security hedge.
Planted at a rate of five plants per metre Buckthorn will make a thick thorny hedge which will grow in most soil conditions.
Buckthorn hedging plants are also shade tolerant.
Buckthorn is also a valuable addition to a native farm hedging mix. Mixed native farm hedges are excellent for attracting birds and other wildlife as hedges play host to insects, berries and other sources of food for wildlife. Native mixed hedges also offer winter protection for wildlife.
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