Alder Buckthorn (frangula alnus syn rhamnus frangula)
Seed Prices -Currently unavailable
1 gram (approx 57 seeds) £0.99
2 grams (approx 114 seeds) £1.60
5 grams (approx 285 seeds) £2.75
10 grams (approx 570 seeds) £4.50
25 grams (approx 1425 seeds) £8.75
50 grams (approx 2850 seeds) £16.00
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Alder Buckthorn grows in wet soils in open woods, scrub, hedgerows and bogs, thriving well in sunlight and moderate shade, but less vigorously in dense shade; it prefers acidic soils though will also grow on neutral soils.
The flowers are small, 3–5 mm diameter and insect pollinated, appearing from May to June in clusters of two to ten in the leaf axils. The fruit is a small black berry 6–10 mm diameter, ripening from green through red in late summer to dark purple or black in early autumn.
Although this is not a shrub of great ornamental value it has an important place in wildlife conservation being one of just two food plants used by the Common Brimstone butterfly, the flowers are valuable for bees, and the fruit an important food source for birds, particularly thrushes. It is also interesting to note that although it is called Alder Buckthorn it is neither a member of the Alder family and it does not carry any thorns!
Germination and after care information sent with every order.
Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
Alder Buckthorn (frangula alnus)
First prepare a free draining substrate into which the seeds are to be mixed, this can be a 50/50 mixture of compost and sharp sand, or perlite, vermiculite. The chosen substrate needs to be moist (but not wet), if you can squeeze water out of it with your hand it is too wet and your seeds may drown and die.
Mix the seeds into the substrate, making sure that their is enough volume of material to keep the seeds separated. Place the seed mixture into a clear plastic bag (freezer bags, especially zip-lock bags are very useful for this -provided a little gap is left in the seal for air exchange) If it is not a zip-lock type bag it needs to be loosely tied.
Write the date on the bag so that you know when the pre-treatment was started.
The seeds of this species require a cold period to break the dormancy that is within the seeds. This dormancy is their to prevent the seed from germinating during the autumn and winter when conditions outside would be unsuitable for growth. The breaking of this is easily achieved by placing the prepared bag of seeds in the fridge at (4 Celsius or 39F) for around 8 weeks. During this time make sure that the pre-treatment medium does not dry out at any stage or it will be ineffective!
It is quite possible for the seeds to germinate in the bag at these temperatures when they are ready to do so, if they do, just remove them from the bag and carefully plant them up. When the period of pre treatment has finished the seed should be ready to be planted. Small quantities can be sown in pots or seed trays filled with a good quality compost and cover them with a thin layer of compost no more than 1cm deep. For larger quantities it is easiest to sow the seeds in a well prepared seedbed outdoors once the pretreatment has finished and wait for the seedlings to appear.
It has also been found that fluctuating pre-treatment temperatures can give the best germination results and I have myself had excellent results by keeping the mixed seeds in a cold shed through the winter for the cold stage of their pre-treatment and allowing the temperature to fluctuate naturally. Ungerminated seeds can have the cold pre-treatment process repeated again to enable more seeds to germinate.
Do not expose newly sown seeds to high temperatures (above 25 Celsius). Keep the seedlings well watered and weed free.
Growth in the first year is usually between 20 and 40 cm depending on the time of germination and cultural techniques and developing seedlings are usually trouble free. Allow them to grow for 1 or 2 years before planting them in a permanent position.