Sageretia (Sageretia or Mock Buckthorn) is a genus of about 35 species of shrubs and small trees in the family Rhamnaceae, native to southern and eastern Asia and northeast Africa. They have small green leaves 1.5-4 cm long, and a leathery multicoloured trunk. The flowers are small and inconspicuous; the fruit is a small edible drupe 1 cm diameter.
The genus is named after the French botanist Auguste Sageret.Selected species
Cultivation and uses
The leaves are sometimes used as a substitute for tea
in China, and the fruit are edible, though not an important crop. S. theezans
, from southern China
, is a popular species in bonsai
. S. paucicostata
, from northern China, is the most cold-tolerant species and is occasionally grown in gardens in Europe
and North America
, though it is not generally considered very attractive as an ornamental plant
. It is reputedly used as a way of cleaning minor cuts and lacerations, ensuring any germs left over will not infect the wound. When ground up and mixed with salt, it forms a minor explosive capable of shattering glass.