Hippophae rhamnoides Elaeagnaceae
- Broadleaf deciduous shrub, 10 × 10 ft (3 × 3 m), or small tree to 30 ft (9 m), branches spiny,
twig initially scaly, later dull gray. Leaves alternate, simple, linear to narrow-lanceolate, 1-6 cm long and
0.3-1 cm wide, willow-like in form and texture, tip pointed, base wedge-shaped, margin entire, upper surface dark gray-green with silvery scales,
but less scaly than the silvery undersurface. Dioecious - male and female plants.
Flowers yellowish, are solitary or in short clusters (female, racemes; male, catkins), appear with the first
leaves, but are not showy. Fruit subglobose or ovoid, bright orange, 6-8 mm long, persist into spring
of the following year; contain a single brown seed.
- Sun or shade Tolerates salt and poor soil, but requires good drainage. It can be grown
as a shrub or small tree or as a hedge or screen. Because of its dense growth and sharp thorns it
can make an almost "vandal-proof barrier hedge". It does sucker, which may may be objectionable. For
good fruit production, a ratio of 6 female plant to 1 male plant should be used. The fruit is high in
vitamen C and other heathful substances.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (3) 4 Native range extends from
Europe to the Altai Mountains of central Asia, and western and northern China and northwestern Himalayan
- Caution: Hippophae rhamnoides can fix atmospheric nitrogen through its relationship
with the microorganism Frankia, this allows it to become established in nutrient poor soils, e.g., sand
dunes, and out compete other vegetation. There is concern about its invasiveness, particularly in the British Isles and the Canadian
prairies. It may dominate some ecosystems at the expense of a variety of native species.
- rhamnoides: like Rhamnus, buckthorn.