Rhamnus alaternus

Rhamnus alaternus (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Rosales
Familia: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Rhamnus
Species: Rhamnus alaternus

Name

Rhamnus alaternus L.

Vernacular names
Català: Aladern
Ελληνικά, Κυπριακά : Ράμνος η αλατέρνιος, Χρυσοξυλιά
Galego: Alaterno
Türkçe: İtalya cehrisi

Rhamnus alaternus is a species of flowering plant in the buckthorn family known by the common name of Italian Buckthorn or Mediterranean Buckthorn.

Etymology

The genus name derives from the Greek "rabdos", or “stick” with reference to the presence in many species of woody spine on the end of each twig. The specific Latin name alaternus, assonant with "alternus" or “alternate”, refers to the alternate leaves.

Description

Rhamnus alaternus is a evergreen shrub 1–5 metres (3 ft 3 in–16 ft 5 in) high.[1] The stems have reddish bark and pubescent young branches, rounded and compact foliage with alternating leaves, about {convert|2|-|6|cm}} long,[1] sometimes nearly opposite, oval or lanceolate, leathery, shiny green, yellowish-green underneath.

The small fragrant flowers are gathered in a short axillary yellow-green raceme. Flowering period extends from February to April. Fruits are obovoidal red-brownish drupes of about 3–4 millimetres (0.12–0.16 in),[1] containing from 2 to 4 seeds. The drupes darken to black when ripe. Fruits have medicinal properties and can be used with caution as a laxative.


Distribution

This species is present in most of the the mediterranean countries.


Habitat

It is widespread in thermophilic evergreen bush and scrubland of the Mediterranean climate regions, from sea ​​level up to 700 m above sea level.[1]

Subspecies

Rhamnus alaternus L. subsp. alaternus
Rhamnus alaternus L. subsp. myrtifolia (Willk.) Maire
Rhamnus alaternus L. subsp. pendula (Pamp.) Jafri

References

^ a b c d Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia – Edagricole – 1982. Vol. II, pag. 78

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Pignatti S. - Flora d'Italia - Edagricole – 1982 Vol. II, pg. 78
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