Hippophae rhamnoides
Common name: 
Sea Buckthorn
hi-PO-fa-ee ram-NOI-deez
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • 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 be objectionable.  For good fruit production, a ratio of 6 female plant to 1 male plant should be used.  The fruit is high in vitamin C and other healthful 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 Mountains.
  • 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.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • foliage


  • shoot, mostly underside

    shoot, mostly underside

  • leaves


  • shoot tip, fall

    shoot tip, fall

  • leaves and buds, fall

    leaves and buds, fall

  • branch with thorns

    branch with thorns

  • stem, bark

    stem, bark