categoryZShrubs Shrubs List 
categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 
categoryZBrooadleaf Broadleaf List 

SEA-BUCKTHORN

Hippophae rhamnoides

(Formerly: Elaeagnus rhamnoides)
Sea Buckthorn Family [Elaeagnaceae]  

Flowers:
month8apr month8april month8May month8jun month8june
Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZorange  (in-edible until cooked, high in Vitamin-C)
month8jul month8july month8Aug month8sep month8sept

category
category8Shrubs
 
category
category8Deciduous
 
category
category8Broadleaf
 
status
statusZnative
 
inner
inner8brown
 
inner
inner8green
 
morph
morph8zygo
 
petals
petalsZ0
 
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8spines stem8thorns
spines
contact
contactZlowish
 
sex
sexZdioecious
 

9th Sept 2009, on Ainsdale dunes, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Spreading into thickets amidst coniferous trees on old sand dunes by suckering.


26th Aug 2013, Southport Marine Lake, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The shrubs wear the orange berries like sleeves close to the branches as if covered in a lichen.


27th July 2007, Formby Sand Dunes, Southport. Photo: © RWD
Narrow lanceolate leaves still wet from recent rain with silvery scales on underside (centre bottom). Berries ripening.


5th Aug 2008, on Ainsdale dunes, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Leaves still wet from rain. Berries strung and closely held to shoots.


16th Oct 2009, on Ainsdale dunes, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
Upper surface of leaves covered in whitish pimples


21st Sept 2008, Blackleach Mineral Line, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD


21st Sept 2008, Blackleach Mineral Line, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The thorns are not very numerous.


21st Sept 2008, Blackleach Mineral Line, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The berries a strident orange; skin pitted in almost regular intervals.


20th March 2011, Blackleach Mineral Line, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
The trunk of a mature specimen.


17th Feb 2006, Formby Sand Dunes, Southport. Photo: © RWD
Autumn and the well-faded pale yellow berries are probably by now hollow. All leaves gone.


26th Aug 2004, Deganwy Beach, North Wales. Photo: © RWD
A newish plant growing amongst beach stones and above the drift line.


20th April 2006, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The flowers of a female plant.


20th April 2006, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The petal-less greenish yellow female flowers on a female plant.


22nd April 2015, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 A male bush in flower; the flowers being almost as bright an orange colour as the female bushes in berry.


22nd April 2015, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The male catkin-like flowers.


20th March 2011, Blackleach Mineral Line, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
 The male flowers are orange-brown and on separate trees from the female flowers.


20th March 2011, Blackleach Mineral Line, Walkden, Greater Manchester. Photo: © RWD
 Male flowers on a male plant.


23th April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The petal-less male flowers start to open. They are larger than the female flowers.


23th April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The male flowers may have leaf buds growing from the top. Here most of the sepals enclosing the anthers have opened, displaying the anthers bearing pollen within.


22nd April 2015, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The four stamens of a male flower between the two opened light-green clam-like sepals.


23th April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 Now the two sepals are open wide where four anthers reside bearing pollen.


23th April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
 The orange container, being the male flower, split wide open, bearing four anthers.


23th April 2011, Southport, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Some branches bear extremely long and sharp spines, resembling those of Blackthorn (Sloe).


Some similarities to : Pyracantha, in that both have orange berries.

Not to be confused with: Blackthorn [a shrub or tree with similar name, which produces fruits called Sloe berries].

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Sea-Buckthorn is native at seasides and stabilises the sand-dunes, but is usually planted inland where it is now becoming a problem throughout Britain, for it spreads by suckering producing thickets that prevent other plants from growing. Like most sea plants, it it salt tolerant both of salt-laden sea spray on the leaves, and of salt within the ground.

The tree bears very small petal-less flowers in early spring mostly before leaves appear (although this can vary, it seems), and on last years new growth. It is dioecious, with separate male and female flowers on separate trees; the male flowers being very small, bud-like, orangey-brown and clustered together. The female flowers are even smaller and much less conspicuous, and are a yellowy-green. The flower clusters often grow in the thorn or the leaf axils ('armpits').

The orange berries appear on female plants only, and are present with the leaves, which are long and narrow, slightly curved backwards, and greyish-green with pock-marks. The leaves have silvery scales on the underside.

A yellow dye can be extracted from Sea-Buckthorn.

The berries are very high in Vitamin-C, with about a 10-fold greater concentration than that in oranges. The juice from the berries contain a multitude of nourishing compounds, but more remarkable still is that the freezing point is -22 Celsius, remaining liquid even in domestic freezers. The berries are astringent and too bitter to eat raw (too bitter for most birds too), but after bletting (being frozen for a few days) they can be eaten, but are better used to make jams, pies and liquors.

An oil, sea-buckthorn oil, can be obtained from the seeds. It is particularly rich in plant Phytosterols Tocopherols and Tocotrienols, as well as especially high levels of Carotenoids. It also contains up to 65% fats in the form of both the mono-unsaturated fatty acid palmitolic acid and the saturated fatty acid Palmitic Acid. Sea-Buckthorn oil is used to treat radiation burns to the skin caused by over-exposure to nuclear radiation, and also as a preventative to reduce the effects of ultraviolet radiation (to which it is opaque) when astronauts are working in outer space on orbiting satellites. It is used for a variety of other skin conditions including acne, eczema, etc.

Sea Buckthorn is one of the few plants, and even fewer trees, that can fix nitrogen via symbiotic bacteria (Actinomyces) in the roots. Most of these so-called Actinorhizal plants are members of the Pea Family, the exceptions being mostly shrubs and trees from diverse other families. Over 18 families of plants can manage this feat.


  Hippophae rhamnoides  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Elaeagnaceae  

Distribution
family8sea buckthorn family8sea buckthorn family8Elaeagnaceae family8Elaeagnaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8hippophae family8sea buckthorn family8Elaeagnaceae
Hippophae
(Sea-Buckthorn)

SEA-BUCKTHORN

Hippophae rhamnoides

(Formerly: Elaeagnus rhamnoides)
Sea Buckthorn Family [Elaeagnaceae]  

WildFlowerFinder Homepage