Rhamnaceae Rhamnus betulifolia

Rhamnus betulifolia

Rhamnus betulifolia

Synonym: Frangula betulifolia

Family: Rhamnaceae – Buckthorn Family

Rhamnus betulifolia (Birchleaf buckthorn) is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park.

Deciduous shrubs; 3.3' to 8.3' (1 to 2.5 m) tall

Leaves: alternate; simple; dark green; the leaves are broad and elliptical or egg-shaped and resemble birch leaves; the larger ones are 1.6” to 5.6” (4 to 14 cm) long and 1” to 3” (2.5 to 7.5 cm) wide; can have hairs (more on underside of leaf)

Flowers: clusters of brownish-white or greenish-white flowers; perfect; 4 or 5 petals; 4 or 5 sepals; stamens equaling the petals in number and opposite them; pistil with 3 parts; flowers grow in clusters in the angle between the leaf and the stem; hypanthium is 0.06” to 0.12” (1.5 to 3 mm) long; petals approximately 0.04” (1 mm) long

Pollinators: other Rhamnus species are pollinated by insects

Fruits: 3- parted berrylike drupe

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May and possibly into early summer

Habitat in Arches National Park: hanging gardens and rock crevices

Location seen: outside Arches National Park between Dubinky Well and Blue Hills

Other: The genus name, “Rhamnus”, is the Greek name of the plant and the species name, "betulifolia”, means “birch-like leaves”.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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