Hippophae rhamnoides
Common Name: sea buckthorn 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Native Range: Europe, central Asia
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 12.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Yellow green (female)Brown (male)
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Thorns
Tolerate: Erosion


Easily grown in average, moist, well-drained, neutral to alkaline, sandy loams in full sun. Tolerant of wind, cold temperatures (USDA Zone 3) and poor soils. Plants are dioecious, so female plants will not produce fruit without a nearby male pollinator.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hippophae rhamnoides, commonly called sea buckthorn, is a large, thorny-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub that typically grows to 8-12' tall and as wide. It sometimes grows in tree form, and may reach 20' tall or more in its native habitat. It is native to Europe, Northern Asia and China. It is often found growing in coastal areas, hence the common name. It is particularly noted for producing both willow-like silver-green leaves which are attractive throughout the growing season and long-lasting orange berries on female plants in fall. Narrow, linear, silver-green leaves (to 3" long) have a scaly surface. Non-showy, yellow-green, female flowers in small racemes appear on female plants in spring (March-April) before the leaves emerge. Male flowers bloom in tiny catkins on male plants at the same time. Female flowers give way to orange fall fruits (each to 1/3" long) which persist on the branches through winter. Fruits are used to make teas, jams, jellies, sauces and beverages, including an orange juice which is commercially produced in Germany and Russia. Fruits are rich in vitamins A, C and E, folic acid, carotenoids, and fatty acids. Branches are thorny.

Genus name comes from the classical Greek name for another plant, probably prickly spurge.

Specific epithet means resembling the genus Rhamnus.


No serious insect or disease problems. May be difficult to locate this shrub in nurseries in the U.S.


Seaside plantings. Coastal windbreak. Stabilize dunes. Mass or group. Borders. Screen.