Some 150 species of deciduous, sometimes evergreen, trees and shrubs, often with thorny twigs. Leaves alternate, opposite or spirally arranged, parallel veins, serrate or entire margins. Flowers small, 4 or 5 parted, unisexual or bisexual, style simple with 3-lobed stigma. Fruit a globose drupe. Native to northern temperate areas, plus east and southern Africa and Brazil.
Rhamnus: from the Greek name Rhamnos of a shrub in the genus.
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