Alder Buckthorn is an attractive native tree with Autumn berries. There are so many benefits of Buckthorn to wildlife that is is a valuable addition to a wildlife woodland. As a small, bushy tree or shrub, it is equally suitable in a garden setting. Through the seasons, the Buckthorn adds interest; with it’s smooth bark and little white flowers in Spring, Autumn colour, and red berries turning to purple in the Winter. It grows best in damp, acidic soil and an open woodland setting, however it also does well in neutral soil. The Alder buckthorn is less widespread than the Common buckthorn.
Alder buckthorn is a robust little tree, and will grow in a city or countryside setting as it is tolerant of pollution.
The leaves are an important food plant of the caterpillar of the Brimstone butterfly. Only this tree and the Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus catharticus) are food plants for the Brimstone butterfly larvae, which is becoming increasingly rare. The pollen is useful for many insects, including bees, and the berries are a winter food source for birds.
Why not add a wild bird feeder to your basket to encourage birds visiting your garden throughout the year.