We learn these days from university that certain plants are evil. Their school room instructors demand the public help the sainted to rid our pristine world of certain things foul.

Many of us humans are not quite yet actually on their lists, but a lot of plants are. We learn which ones both from people in politics and from neighbors with public enthusiasm who seek purpose in life. For twenty years now university disciples, people indoors and out have been culling our vegetative environment prmarily of two species, Common Buckthorn and Purple Loosestrife.

Some Minnesotans’ good character is dependent upon how many of these and other species must be killed to make the 32nd state of our Union a better place in which to live. We are politically and educationally programmed these days to eliminate the idea that some plants are more beautiful than others. If something is beautiful, the inference follows that something is less beautiful. That would make something less equal….Oh my!

At university in fields outside the ‘real’ sciences, engineering, and math we are measured by how equal we people must be created as a sign of the nation’s moral, political and success. This seems to be our modern way.

Will Fernleaf Buckthorn kindly enter this stage?
I know this statement is remarkably old fashioned…..but I do believe it and wish to state it. It is one of the most beautiful understory trees in our Minnesota landscape garden repetoire. ……Or, it used to be, because for more than a decade, even perhaps two, buckthorn has, by power of law, I believe, been banned from growing in hallowed Minnesota.

These police have not yet moved into Iowa to my knowledge. Yet, despite all, the strangest thing happened “gardenwise” two days ago. I got a call from a garden friend who announced that the Fernleaf Buckthorn was in the store AND for sale to the public, the suspecting and the unsuspecting. Would I like to buy any?

Dear fellow and fellowess landscape gardener….what do you think was my reply?

“How many can I buy?” is indeed what I said…..asked! I bought.
I have planted perhaps forty to fifty of these specimen beauties over my landscape business career……when they were available at the local nurseries. I have one, not a particularly showy one in the front garden. Even though it is quite plain in contrast to other fernleaf buckthorn I have planted elsewhere, few plants, perhaps none, have caused more questions regarding its name and place where it can be purchased……just a hint of its unique ability to cause attention upon itself.

The asking public is shocked when I confess it is a Buckthorn……(although without thorns and without berries quite typical of this species whereever grown.

No plant beyond turf grass is more popularly known in Minnesota vocabulary than Buckthorn.
Few plants in the knowledgeable landscape world in Minnesota is more cherished that the Fernleaf Buckthorn.

It is likely that by tomorrow afternoon, my supply of fresh fernleaf buckthorn plants will have disappeared. Fellow gardeners, no one in the world will force me to tell the eco-police where they went.