Oregon State University
Alphabetical List of Tree Common Names Alphabetical List of Tree Scientific Names Identification Key Mystery Tree

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Buckthorns (Rhamnus)

  • Leaves are simple and alternate, with prominent parallel veins.
  • Fruits are purple or black cherry-like drupes.
  • Buds are most often naked (without covering scales).
  • May grow as a tree or large shrub.
  • Some species have sharp spines, although Oregon's species does not.




This group of small trees and shrubs has almost 100 members worldwide. Only five reach tree size in North America, and only one of those, called cascara buckthorn, occurs in Oregon. While many of the buckthorns have sharp spines, Oregon's species does not.


For more information on the alders native to the Pacific Northwest, go to the species page or see "Trees to Know in Oregon".

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