Has anyone heard of buckthorn 'fine line' (rhamnus frangula)?

glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)December 18, 2005

I am not really familiar with this one, or any other buckthorn, but I saw this in Dominion Seed House's catalogue (page 111) and it looks sort of interesting.

It says it has fern like foliage and 6 feet tall but only a couple of feet narrow. The picture almost reminds me of bamboo or a grass. They say hardy to zone 3 but one website said zone 2 and not very invasive. Any soil. One website said sun to part shade.

I just am wondering if it, or other types of buckthorn are hardy for northern climates or if this plant is as good as they say.

Just starting to browse through catalogues, -25C here this morning, but it's suppose to warm up later in the week.

Regards,

Glen

Here is a link that might be useful: 'fine line' buckthorn

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leftwood(z4a MN)

Rhamnus frangula (syn: R. anlus), and especially Rhamnus cathartica,are one of the bad, bad forest invasives in the U.S. Although we have a big problem with R.cathartica in Minnesota and I see it here in the woods literally all the time, I myself have never seen frangula in the woods. This, even though its ornamental cultivar, 'Columnaris', use to be commonly planted until, say, 10 years ago; and I have almost never seen R. cathartica sold. However Columnaris is frugal in seed production. Probably every state in the eastern half of the U.S. has its own invasive buckthorn fact sheets. This is Minnesota's. With this caveat out of the way, now to your question.

Two years ago, I did pick a cheap 1 gallon Ron Williams (Fine LineÂ), just to see what it is like and test its seedless claim. The rabbit ate it last winter. But so far it does have the narrow growth pattern. Leaves are identical to the older R. fangula 'Asplenifolia' that grows as a wider bush. It is at least a U.S.D.A. zone 3 plant. The shrub in the Wayside photo looks as though it was topped and that would be consistent with my idea of the plant. One already that wide I would expect to be almost twice as high. Foliage is exactly what you see. No fall color here.

I am assuming Dominion Seed sells plants too, because if they sell seed of Fine Line, then Wayside's claim of infertile berries is bogus, and it would be a bad thing for any of us to test.

Rick

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:43AM
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twrosz

Glen, I too found this one to be of interest and am tempted to order it. I've seen several healthy and very attractive buckthorns growing in Edmonton. Not far from my country location, there's an exposed shelterbelt planting that had thrived for several years. Indeed very attractive were the branches laden in heavy fruit production! THOUGH, now it has gone into much decline likely due to our extremely fluctuating winter conditions.

Indeed IÂd give the buckthorns a try in a sheltered location. I'm sure the birds LOVE the berries AND I believe the fruit is very healty for a person.

Terry

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 12:57PM
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cailinriley(z3 Calgary AB)

I took a look at the Dominion Seed website. The shrub looks fantastic, but $14.00 for a 3 1/2" pot??!! Plus shipping charges... I'll be looking for this one at a local garden centre this spirng. They'll probably charge from $15 to $20 for a one gallon pot. And, if they don't carry it in 2006, there's always 2007...

Glen, do you have a local nursery that could supply a reasonably sized plant for you?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 3:12PM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

WAIT! Berry not good. Make 'um go poo-poo.

And I suppose that is where Rhamnus cathartica got its species epithet. Birds love the berries, but I think it has the same effect on them too. Not a good thing to plant near sidewalks unless you like walking through purple polka-dot patterned cement. Although with Fine Line producing so few berries, there shouldn't be a problem.

I got my gallon pot for $5 U.S. I would think your prices should come down soon. They grow quite quickly here.

Rick

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 7:04PM
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