PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

One of our favorite fruiting plants, Sea Buckthorn is an astonishingly healthful shrub with every part of it offering abundant nutrition. It also makes a beautiful screening hedge with grey-green leaves and orange berries. Sea Buckthorn is found growing in the wild from Scandinavia to areas around the Caspian Sea.

Our favorite part is the berries. They’re jellybean-sized, bright orange, and grow in dense masses along twigs and branches, ripening in late summer. The flavor is like an intensely flavored, citrusy fruit punch with no sweetener. They’re fantastic combined with other, sweeter fruits in juices, smoothies, preserves, and desserts. It can get 10 feet tall and it’s impractical to pick the small berries directly from the plant, so we prune off heavily laden branches and harvest more easily working on a table. This also keeps the plant pruned to a reasonable size each year. You need both a male and female plant to get fruit. It fixes nitrogen, grows in any soil, and likes full to part sun.

The fruit, leaves, and twigs are loaded with compounds that have anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antiviral, and anticancer effects, and protect against liver and cardiovascular diseases. We mash the berries into raw honey and enjoy spoonfuls during the winter to help protect from cold season ills. Dried leaves and berries are made as tea. Here’s an article from the NIH about it: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9763470/.