Hippophae Rhamnoides or Sea Buckthorn

Hippophae rhamnoides

Common or Sea Buckthorn

Elaeagnaceae

hippophae-rhamnoides

The origin of the generic name is not clear. The genus includes only two species found in Europe and Asia. They are spiny, deciduous shrubs or trees with alternate, narrow, leathery leaves and clusters of flowers borne on two-year-old shoots. The flowers have two sepals but no petals. The male flowers later develop into spines, while the female flowers fall. Shrubs of both sexes must be close to one another to ensure fertilization and the bearing of fruit.

Sea buckthorn is native to both Europe and Asia, its range extending to the Himalayas. It is a 5- to 10-m (16- to 33-ft)-high shrub or tree with narrow, linear leaves, 2 to 6 cm (¾ to 2 ¼ in) long, covered with silvery scales on both sides. The flowers are yellowish and appear before or shortly after the leaves in March. The fruits are ovate, orange-coloured berries that remain on the branches until late winter.

Propagation is by seeds which are sown immediately in the autumn after the pericarp has been removed following harvesting. They germinate well and rapidly. Sea buckthorn has no particular requirements. It tolerates dry, sandy, even salty soil, and stands up well to wind. Its widespreading root system makes it a good pioneering plant. Though it is used mostly to anchor sand dunes, hold soil on hillsides, cover cliffs and abandoned sand pits, and as green barriers on motorways, it is also useful as an ornamental, solitary specimen in small gardens and parks.

01. May 2011 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Ornamental Shrubs, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Hippophae Rhamnoides or Sea Buckthorn

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