Invasive SpeciesGlossy buckthorn

Frangula alnus
FOUND by 18ct
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Ms. H
Peer reviewed by Patrick
Field Notes
Field Notes Caroline Tracy, C block Our area, between flags 8 and 9, was the border between a forest and a developed road. There were two main parts to it: the edge of the forest, and near the edge of the road. Near the edge of the road, there were a lot of dead leaves and pine needles covering the ground. On top of them, there were large gray rocks that covered a lot of the leaves and needles up. These rocks also made it hard for plants to grow. After some research in our area, my partner and I found that mainly invasive species grew near the edge of the road. These invasive species were near the edge of the road (and on the rocks): glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) and woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara). The woody nightshade was fairly small, but the glossy buckthorn was huge and took up a big portion of the area. There were barely any native species near the road (on the rocks). I think that this is because after the forest had been cleared because of the road, and after the rocks were placed, there were no species at all near the road. But the invasive species saw an opportunity to grow there, and quickly took over. On the other hand, on the edge of the forest, there were many native species. The edge of the forest was green, teeming with plants, and had soft soil. Many of the species we researched on the edge of the forest were native. These native species at the edge of the forest were: sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) and orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). The sweet fern was huge and thriving close to the forest. However, one of the orange jewelweed plants was small and dying, while another one was well sized. We collected data in a transect area, and visually located the plants. We wrote down evidence, took pictures with our camera, used a ruler to measure plants, and used data from the information cards (from your website) to help identify the key features. I think that our area (near the road and the edge of the forest) is pretty healthy on the edge of the forest, but I think there are too many invasive species near the road for our entire area to be called healthy.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The leaves on the glossy buckthorn are glossy, shiny, and were waxy to the touch. They're shaped like a long oval, and the leaf type is simple: it's just one leaf. Lastly, the edges of the leaf are wavy, curving up and down.
Photo of my evidence.
The bark on the glossy buckthorn is thin and gray-brown in color. The bark also has white pores (or lenticels) that are raised. The raised white lenticels are little bumps on top of the stem that characterize the stems of the glossy buckthorn.
Photo of my evidence.
On this particular plant, there is an alternate leaf arrangement. On other glossy buckthorn plants, however, there's an opposite leaf arrangement. However, the leaf arrangement varies from plant to plant. This plant differs from common buckthorn because, in this picture, it clearly shows that there isn't a spine at the end of the branch.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Frangula alnus
Common name:
Glossy buckthorn
Sampling method: 
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.736660 °
W -70.275460 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
2018 School Site Forest Edge
Trip date: 
Thu, 2018-09-13 07:26
Town or city: 
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


As you saw the edge of the forest is a very diverse area where many plants and animals thrive. Also the cutting of the forest does allow the seeds already deposited in the soil to grow as sunlight reaches them on the forest floor.