Taxon: Rhamnus cathartica L.

Genus: Rhamnus
Family: Rhamnaceae
      Tribe: Rhamneae
Nomen number: 31018
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 1:193. 1753 "catharticus"
Name Verified on: 31-Aug-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 09-May-2011
Species priority site is: National Arboretum (NA)
Accessions: 10 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

Economic Importance:

  • Harmful organism host: crop diseases (for crown rust fide Mathre in Diseas Comp)
  • Environmental: shade/shelter (fide Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2; Herbal Drugs)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide BernhardSmith; Cooper & Johnson ed2; Kingsbury; Lampe & McCann; Moldenke; Pammel)
  • Weed: (fide Rep NCEPPC; Invasive Pl Spec)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • Northern Africa: Algeria; Morocco
  • Asia-Temperate

    • Caucasus: Armenia; Azerbaijan; Russian Federation - Dagestan; Russian Federation-Ciscaucasia - Ciscaucasia
    • Middle Asia: Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Tajikistan
    • Siberia: Russian Federation - Altay; Russian Federation-Western Siberia - Western Siberia
    • Western Asia: Iran; Turkey
  • Europe

    • East Europe: Belarus; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Russian Federation-European part - European part; Ukraine
    • Middle Europe: Austria; Belgium; Czechoslovakia; Germany; Hungary; Netherlands; Poland; Switzerland
    • Northern Europe: Denmark; Finland; Ireland; Norway; Sweden
    • Southeastern Europe: Albania; Bulgaria; Former Yugoslavia; Greece; Italy; Romania
    • Southwestern Europe: France; Spain

  • Naturalized:

  • Northern America

    • : Canada; United States

  • Cultivated:

    . also cult.


  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin). 2009 (Vara kulturvaxt namn)
  • BernhardSmith, A. Poisonous plants of all countries, 2nd ed. 1923 (BernhardSmith)
  • Bisset, N. G., ed. Herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. A handbook for practice on a scientific basis. 1994 (Herbal Drugs)
  • Blumenthal, M., ed. The complete German Commission E monographs: therapeutic guide to herbal medicines. 1998 (German CommE Monog)
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences Flora reipublicae popularis sinicae. 1959- (F China)
  • Conant, P. et al. 1997. Appendix. Selected plant species interfering with resource management goals in North American natural areas (Pl Invasion) 255-267.
  • Cooper, M. R. & A. W. Johnson Poisonous plants and fungi in Britain: animal and human poisoning. 1998 (Cooper & Johnson ed2)
  • Davis, P. H., ed. Flora of Turkey and the east Aegean islands. 1965-1988 (F Turk)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Gleason, H. A. & A. Cronquist Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. 1963 (Glea Cron)
  • Grellin, J. K. & J. Philpott A reference guide to medicinal plants. 1990 (RefGuide MedPl)
  • Greuter, W. et al., eds. Med-Checklist. 1984- (L Medit)
  • Huxley, A., ed. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 1992 (Dict Gard)
  • Jahandiez, E. & R. Maire Catalogue des plantes du Maroc. 1931-1941 (L Maroc)
  • Kingsbury, J. M. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. 1964 (Kingsbury)
  • Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. Flora SSSR. 1934-1964 (F USSR)
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. 1985 (Lampe & McCann)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Little, E. L., Jr. Checklist of United States trees, Agric. Handb. 541. 1979 (Trees US)
  • Mathre, D. E. 1997. Compendium of barley diseases (Diseas Comp)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Moerman, D. Native American ethnobotany, ed. 5. 1998 (Nat Amer Ethnobot)
  • Moldenke, H. N. Poisonous plants of the world. Pamphlet, 3rd ed. 1951 (Moldenke)
  • Mouterde, P. Nouvelle flore du Liban et de la Syrie. 1966- (F Liban)
  • Munro, D. B. Canadian poisonous plants information system (on-line resource). (Can Poison Pl)
  • Pammel, L. H. Manual of poisonous plants. 1911 (Pammel)
  • Quézel, P. & S. Santa Nouvelle flore de l'Algerie. 1962-1963 (F Alger)
  • Rechinger, K. H., ed. Flora iranica. 1963- (F Iran)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Scoggan, H. J. The flora of Canada, 4 vol. 1978-1979 (F Canada)
  • Steyermark, J. A. Flora of Missouri. 1977 (F Missouri)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. 1964-1980 (F Eur)
  • Van Wyk, B.-E. & M. Wink Medicinal plants of the world. 2004 (Med Pl World)
  • Weber, E. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. 2003 (Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Wiersema, J. H. & B. León World economic plants: a standard reference (on-line edition) [medicinal plants only]. (World Econ Pl Med)
  • Zohary, M. et al. Conspectus florae orientalis. 1980- (L Orient)

Check other web resources for Rhamnus cathartica L. :

  • Flora Europaea: Database of European Plants (ESFEDS)
  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • BONAP North American Plant Atlas of the Biota of North America Program:
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ICRA: International Cultivar Registration Authority (on-line resource). for Rhamnus cathartica cultivars
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image