Carolina buckthorn is a small deciduous tree or larger shrub. Although it has a ‘thorn’ in its name, it has no spines. It is a lovely understory plant with an airy, layered look.
Carolina buckthorn does best in part shade, with 3-4 hours of sun, although it is adaptable. The sunnier the exposure, the more water it will need to thrive and the denser and bushier its growth.
Carolina buckthorn produces bright red fruit that turns black by the fall and is eaten by birds. It has nice yellow to orange fall color. This adaptable plant is not fussy about soil as long as it has good drainage.
AT A GLANCE
|Water use||Low to medium|
|Sun exposure||Part sun to shade|
|Mature height||8-15 ft|
|Mature spread||8-15 ft|
|Host plant||American Snout butterfly|
|Notes||Berries in late summer and fall. Needs good drainage.|