buckthorn, Carolina buckthorn, cervispina (Spanish), common buckthorn, épine noire (French), espinheiro-cerval (Portuguese), European buckthorn, European waythorn, Hart's thorn, Kreuzdorn (German), nerprun cathartique, nerprun purgatif (French), tamuje (Portuguese)
IPANE (2001) compares both F. alnus and Rhamnus cathartica. The leaf arrangement is alternate in F. alnus while R. cathartica has an opposite to subopposite arrangement. Spines are absent at the ends of branches on F. alnus, while they are often present on R. cathartica. Also, F. alnus has pinnate leaf venation, while R. cathartica has lateral veins that are strongly upcurved.