Herb: Avignon Berry

Latin name: Rhamnus saxatilis

Synonyms: Rhamnus infectoria

Family: Rhamnaceae (Buckthorn Family)

Description of the plant:


2 m
(6 1/2 foot)


Habitat of Avignon Berry:

Rocky places on calcareous soils in the Mediterranean.

Other uses of the herb:

A yellow to greenish dye is obtained from the unripe fruit. This dye was at one time commonly used until the advent of chemically produced dyes.

Propagation of Avignon Berry:

Seed - best sown in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed will require 1 - 2 months cold stratification at about 5C and should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame or outdoor seedbed. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, autumn in a frame. Layering in early spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Rocky places on calcareous soils in the Mediterranean.

Medicinal use of Avignon Berry:

None known

Known hazards of Rhamnus saxatilis:

There is the suggestion that this species could be mildly poisonous.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.