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Rhamnus alaternus

Italian Buckthorn
Rhamnaceae
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees

RHAMNUS

Grown for form and foliage; clusters of small flowers are rather inconspicuous. Used chiefly as background plantings or hedges. Berries (typically pea size) are enjoyed by birds; volunteer seedlings may be a nuisance.

Rhamnus alaternus

Evergreen shrub or small tree, native to the Mediterranean region. Fast, dense growth to 10–20 ft. tall and wide. Oval, shiny bright green leaves to 2 in. long; small black berries. Easily trained as a single- or multitrunked tree. Takes well to shearing and shaping. Tolerates heat; does well with little or no water but also accepts regular watering.

‘John Edwards’ is a vigorous, fast-growing, long-lived, cutting-grown variety that grows to 15–18 ft. tall and 6–10 ft. wide. Compact ‘Variegata’ (‘Argenteovariegata’) grows to 6–8 ft. tall and equally wide; has cream-edged foliage. If branches with plain green leaves appear, cut them out or they’ll quickly take over. 

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