This is a deciduous shrub which is not too commonly found throughout Ireland. It has small green star-shaped flowers (4–5 mm) which have four widely-spaced pointed-petals. These flowers, which bloom from May to June, are borne in small clusters, the male and female being separate. Later in the year, the plant bears shiny black berries. The long, almost-opposite, oval leaves are finely toothed and clearly veined. Often quite thorny, this shrub can reach 6 m but grows quite low also as it does in the Burren. It is a native plant and it belongs to the Rhamnaceae family.
I first saw this shrub at Lough Gealáin in the Burren in 2010 and am grateful to Dr Stephen Ward, joint BSBI Vice-county Recorder for Co Clare for his identification.
If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre