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Rhamnaceae

The Rhamnaceae family counts two native genera in Belgium, each with a single species: Frangula alnus Mill. and Rhamnus cathartica L. Both species produce berries that are frequently eaten by birds. Frangula alnus always has been a rather common and very widespread species in Belgium (Van den Bremt 2006). Rhamnus cathartica, on the contrary, was initially confined to calcareous soils in parts of Wallonia. However, in the past decades it increasingly escaped from plantations (possibly coinciding with a slight natural expansion) and now occurs in areas where it is not originally native, for instance in coastal dunes (Van Landuyt 2006).

1. Stipules stout and persistent, spinescent === Ziziphus

1. Stipules soft, often caducous, never spinescent (but branches sometimes ending in a spine) === 2

2. Flowers blue or (more rarely) white. Shrub ca. 100 cm === Ceanothus

2. Flowers yellowish green or greenish yellow. Small tree up to 600 cm (native) === Frangula and Rhamnus


Additional alien: Paliurus spina-christi Mill. (Medit., SE-Eur., garden escape).


References

Van den Bremt P. (2006) Frangula alnus. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 409.

Van Landuyt W. (2006) Rhamnus cathartica. In: Van Landuyt W., Hoste I., Vanhecke L., Van den Bremt P., Vercruysse W. & De Beer D., Atlas van de flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek, Nationale Plantentuin van België en Flo.Wer: 745.

Taxonomic name: