Rhamnus alaternus L.

Italian Buckthorn

Sp. Pl. 193 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Shrub 1.5–3 m high; young shoots shortly simple-pubescent. Leaves alternate (rarely subopposite), ovate, elliptic or obovate, 20–70 mm long, 12–35 mm wide, acute to obtuse, margins regularly toothed to irregularly toothed only in upper half; stipules subulate, 1–1.5 mm long. Inflorescence of axillary (and sometimes terminal) racemes, often branched, 1–2.5 cm long, axis thickish, minutely yellow-pubescent; bracts triangular, c. 1 mm long, finally deciduous. Flowers yellow-green, glabrous, male and/or bisexual within the same inflorescence; pedicels subequal to bracts; hypanthium conical, c. 2 mm long; sepals spreading to recurved, c. 1.5 mm long; petals absent; stamens erect, subequal to sepals; ovary glabrous, style not or barely exceeding hypanthium. Drupes obovoid to globular, c. 5 mm long, initially red, ripening black. Flowers May–Oct.

*Brid, *DunT, *GipP, *Glep, *Gold, *HSF, *OtP, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalised WA, SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to coasts of the Mediterranean. Invasive in coastal scrub near Portland, Port Fairy, Torquay, and Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas. Grows on (particularly calcareous) sands of dunes and coastal flats, with inland occurrences at Castlemaine and at Wannon Falls near Hamilton.

Source: Walsh, N.G. (1999). Rhamnus. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-01-14
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Rosanae
order Rosales
family Rhamnaceae
genus Rhamnus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Rhamnus alaternus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Rhamnus alaternus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Glenelg Plain present naturalised
Bridgewater present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present naturalised
Goldfields present naturalised
Dundas Tablelands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory