Is it a buckthorn?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Ken R, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

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    Virginia, USA
    Last winter, we noticed this shrubby plant growing between two stepping stones in a bed by the street. It was about five feet high, with five or six stems, and a glance at the leaves made me think it might have sprouted from an apple core tossed by a strolling neighbor. It held its leaves long after other shrubs were bare.

    This fall some of its stems are perhaps eight feet long, and it seems to have plans for forming a one-plant thicket. I have made a more serious attempt to ID it and I keep coming back to buckthorn, Rhamnus. It doesn’t fit any of the species descriptions perfectly, however, or match well with photos of local species.

    It has naked buds, no thorns, and speckled bark on the twigs. The white undersides of the leaves contrast sharply with the glossy green tops. Some of the twigs are oddly angled back from the branches.

    Any ideas?
     

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  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    it reminds me of Eleagnus ebbengei
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Or perhaps Elaeagnus pungens. Definitely an Elaeagnus, though.
     
  4. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

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    Thanks, Paul & Michael.

    Yes, I'll accept that it's an Elaeagnus.

    From one of the other threads active now, I gather that there are many species and cultivars out there. Of the suggestions from Paul and Michael, my plant seems closer to E. pungens.

    One web site that I found says that E. pungens has a habit of sending fast-growing canes up nearby trees, and my plant is trying that trick with the neighboring holly. It's behaving like its description on many sites, "an invasive species."

    In any case, I should have removed it last winter. It's growing in a rather inappropriate spot, and now, I think, its days are numbered.

    Thanks again for your help.

    - Ken
     

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