Sea Buckthorn, Hippophae rhamnoides

tree of the family Eleagnaceae

Etymology: "Hippophae" means literally " shining horse " in Greek. In ancient Greece, sea buckthorn was used as fodder for horses to promote weight gain and to make their coats shiny.
Origin: Europe and Asia (to China).
Habitat: Sea Buckthorn is a small tree (almost a shrub) hardy, which fits to the poor, stony or arid soils from the sea level up to the mountain. It needs sun to develop well and can tolerate to be in the shade of bigger trees.
Hardiness: zone 5 (it supports cold until - 29 °C or -20 °F).
Fast growth.
Maximum size:
6 m, but it can attain 18 m in Central Asia.
Shape: the male trees are more upright than the female trees the foliage of which stretches more in width.
Branches: prickly, grey.

Deciduous foliage. Leaves alternate, simple, short petiole, lanceolate, from 3 to 8 cm in length and 7 mm wide, colour grey-green on the upper face and silvery green on the underside.
Yellowish flowers, in April or in May. The flowers grow on the wood of two years and get out before the leaves appear. Male and female flowers on separate plants (dioecious shrub). The male flowers are collected in small kittens.
Fruits: drupes ovoid yellow to bright orange. The core contains the seed. They appear in autumn, a hundred days after pollination.

Use: the sea buckthorn is a decorative tree because of its insulated fruits. The shape and size of fruit, and the contrast between their color and foliage give it its ornamental qualities. The juice of sea buckthorn berries is consumed in many parts of Asia and Europe because it is very rich in protein, vitamins C and E and organic acids. The oil produced from the berries of sea buckthorn is rich in vitamin E, carotenoids, phytosterols and essential fatty acids. All these substances are known for their medicinal properties, used internally or externally.


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