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Carolina Buckthorn

Frangula caroliniana

Carolina Buckthorn

General Information

Carolina Buckthorn is an easy-to-grow, small, deciduous tree or shrub with a spreading, open crown.

Carolina Buckthorn is generally found in limestone areas within woodland streams, open wooded hillsides, upland ridges, thickets. It prefers average, moist, well-drained soils but adapts for a variety of soils and environments. It prefers full sun to part shade.

Carolina Buckthorn has light-green or cream-colored flowers and blooms between April and May.

Plant Information

Plant Type:

Deciduous shrub

Sun Preference:

Full Sun * Part Sun

Soil Moisture Preference:

Medium-Wet * Medium * Medium-Dry

Plant Height:

10 to 15 feet

Plant Width:

10 to 15 feet

Plant Spacing:

5 to 10 feet

Flower Color:

Light Green

Flower timing:

May to June

Culture Information:

Carolina Buckthorn is best used in naturalized areas, butterfly gardens, native gardens, pollinator gardens and as Hedges. It would also make a good backdrop for perennial plantings.

When first planted, Carolina Buckthorn should be watered weekly for first few months, unless at least an inch of rain has been received in the last week to help it get established. After it becomes established, Carolina Buckthorn does not typically need watering due to its drought tolerance.

Carolina Buckthorn flowers on the current year’s growth. If pruned, it is best pruned during winter or after flowering to maintain the desired shape.



Pests & Disease:

Carolina Buckthorn has no serious insect problems.

Carolina Buckthorn has no serious disease problems. It is an alternate host of Crown Rust of oats.

Carolina Buckthorn’s fruit has low toxicity due to glycosides present. Symptoms of include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It does not cause contact dermatitis.

Wildlife Use:

Pollinators: Carolina Buckthorn attracts bees butterflies and other pollinators.

Birds: Birds are attracted to Carolina Buckthorns fruits.

Mammals: N/A.

Other: N/A.

Native to:

East Tennessee including Knox and surrounding counties

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