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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Rhamnaceae

9. Rhamnus alaternus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 193. 1753.

Italian or evergreen buckthorn Italian or evergreen buckthorn

Shrubs, 0.5–6(–10) m, unarmed. Branchlets purplish brown, puberulent. Leaves persistent, alternate; petiole 4–10 mm; blade dull to glossy yellowish green on both surfaces, elliptic to elliptic-obovate, ovate, or ovate-lanceolate, 2–4(–6) cm, distinctly coriaceous, base acute to obtuse, margins sharply serrate to spinulose-serrate, apex acute to subspinulose, both surfaces glabrous except abaxial vein axils tomentose; secondary veins (3–)4–5 pairs, basal pair diverging much more acutely than distal pairs. Inflorescences cymes or flowers solitary. Pedicels 2–6 mm. Sepals 5. Petals 0. Drupes dark red, becoming black, globose, 5–7 mm; stones 3.

Flowering (Feb–)Mar–Jun. Woodland edges, fencerows, low areas, stream banks, canyons, arroyos; 0–400 m; introduced; Calif.; Europe; introduced also in Pacific Islands (New Zealand), Australia.


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