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Rhamnus lanceolata  Pursh
Riley County, Kansas
Height: Shrubs, to 10 (-20) feet
Family: Rhamnaceae - Buckthorn Family
Flowering Period:  
Trunks: Stems ascending to erect; branches unarmed; bark gray, sometimes with light blotches, smooth or eventually somewhat flaky; wood light reddish brown, more or less hard.
Twigs: Grayish brown to grayish green, flexible, smooth but with epidermis exfoliating in small grayish strips of flakes, glabrous; leaf scars crescent-shaped; buds reddish brown, ovoid, .1 to 1.4 inch, apex obtuse to acute, scales usually ciliate.
Leaves: Deciduous, alternate, simple; stipules caducous, oblong, .1 to 1.2 inch; petiole .8 to .4 inch; blade lanceolate to elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 1.2 to 3.2 inches long, .8 to 1.2 inch wide, base truncate or cuneate, margins finely crenulate-serrulate or serrulate, apex acute to acuminate, lower surface light green, pubescent along midrib, upper surface green, glabrous.
Flowers: Axillary on short shoots from previous year, fascicles, 2-4-flowered or flowers solitary; peduncles absent; pedicels .04 to .12 inch, glabrous. Flowersunisexual, rarely some bisexual, radially symmetric; hypanthium bell-shaped, .08 to .12 inch; sepals 4, distinct, green, triangular, .06 to .08 inch; petals 4, distinct, yellow or yellowish green, triangular, .04 to .06 inch; staminate: stamens 4, to .06 inch; pistillate: pistil 1, ovary superior, 2-locular; styles 2, connate proximally; stigmas capitate.
Fruit: July-August; drupes, dark blue to black, globose to nearly spherical, .2 to .3 inch diam.; stones 2, light brown, obovoid, ca. .18 inch long, deeply grooved upper surface, smooth; seed 1.
Habitat: Rocky wooded hillsides, rocky tallgrass prairie slopes, ravines, often calcareous substrates.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas
Origin: Native

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Lanceleaf buckthorn bark
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Riley County, Kansas
Lanceleaf buckthorn leaves
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Riley County, Kansas
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Photo by Craig Freeman