Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Fernleaf Glossy Buckthorn

{Picture of Fernleaf Glossy Buckthorn}

Plant Information

  • Scientific Name: Frangula alnus 'Asplenifolia' Play audio of plant name
  • Family: Buckthorn
  • Parent: Frangula alnus
  • Related Cultivars:

    Frangula alnus 'Columnaris'

  • Zone: 4
  • Plant Size: 12-15'
  • Habit: Rounded
  • Culture:

    Very adaptable. Full sun to partial shade.

  • Notes:

    Fine-textured foliage that turns bright yellow in autumn.  This species (formerly referred to as Rhamnus frangula) has become an invasive weed and is now prohibited in many areas:

    In Wisconsin the fern-leaf cultivars of this species ('Asplenifolia' and 'Fineline') have been exempt from restrictions due to low seed viability.  However, these cultivars are completely male-fertile and thus can still contribute significantly to invasive populations.  Therefore the use of these cultivars is not recommended in areas where this species has invasive potential.  To view the complete regulation see: Wisconsin Invasive species rule – NR 40

     In Minnesota all cultivars of this species are regulated as a Restricted Noxious weed and may not be sold or transported without a permit, or intentionally planted.  To view the complete regulation see Minnesota Noxious Weed Law

  • Pruning:Pruning animation

    Renewal pruning is accomplished by removing the largest, oldest stems (generally 1/4 to 1/3 of the total stems) as close to the ground as possible. This will stimulate new shoots to develop below the cuts which will fill in the plant creating a more dense and pleasing habit.

    Renewal pruning should be done when the plant is dormant, late fall to early spring.

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Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

Bill Hoch, Associate Professor
Montana State University

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