Increasingly found in yards and gardens in Town of Mount Royal, the common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica, also known as the purging or European buckthorn) is an invasive shrub that grows rapidly and aggressively. Maintaining this plant, sometimes wrongly identified as an ornamental shrub, contributes directly to its propagation.
Exploiting all the resources of the soil, the common buckthorn severely affects other nearby species. To avoid this undesirable situation, it is preferable to cut the plant down or pull it out and then to turn the soil and remove any remaining roots.
Identifying features of the common buckthorn:
- Single, glossy, elliptic to oval, parallel-veined leaves that end in a small point;
- A short spine (thorn) where branches join;
- Small, black, berry-like fruit borne in late summer.
The Invading Species Awareness Program website has more information on the common buckthorn.
Other invasive non-native species found in Mount Royal
A number of rapidly proliferating and destructive plants are found in Mount Royal. These invasive alien species (IAEs) are a threat to biodiversity and soil balance. Learn more about the IAEs found in the Town.
For answers to your questions about maintaining your landscaping ecologically, call the Green Line at 514 -734-4222.
Picture source: Romain Néron, MAPAQ