Shepherdia argentea
Common name: 
Silver Buffaloberry
Thorny Buffaloberry
shef-HAIR-dee-a ar-GEN-tee-a
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous large shrub or small tree, to 3-20 ft (0.9-3 m) tall, thicket-forming, thorny branches spreading to ascending.  Leaves opposite, simple, oblong-lanceolate to oblong-elliptical, 2-5 cm long 7-10 mm wide, thick, apex round, base acute or wedge-shaped, margin entire, white-gray resulting from a fine pubescence on both leaf surfaces.  Dioecious (male and female plants, however perfect flowers are reported (both male and female parts present), flowers are small, yellowish-brown, with petal-like sepals, males are in axillary spikes, female single.  Fruit an ovoid berry, red to yellow, about 6 mm wide, one seeded, edible, but sour, reportedly becomes sweeter after a frost; makes a fine jelly.
  • Sun to part shade.  Grows well on dry, moist well-drained, tolerant of alkaline soil.  Does well on poor soil because it can fix nitrogen.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 2      Native range from Manitoba west to British Columbia and south to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and California (also found in southeastern Oregon), most common in the northern Great Planes.  Small populations are found in western Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.
  • argentea: Latin for silvery; recall that the chemical symbol for the element silver is Ag (argentum).
Click image to enlarge
  • emerging leaves and flowers, spring

    emerging leaves and flowers, spring

  • emerging leaves and female flowers

    emerging leaves and female flowers

  • female flower

    female flower

  • male flowers (courtesy John Mellott, Salem, OR)

    male flowers (courtesy John Mellott, Salem, OR)

  • male flowers (courtesy John Mellott, Salem, OR)

    male flowers (courtesy John Mellott, Salem, OR)

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leafy shoot, underside

    leafy shoot, underside

  • leaves


  • branch with thorns

    branch with thorns

  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • branch, leaves and buds

    branch, leaves and buds

  • twig and buds, winter

    twig and buds, winter