Hippophae rhamnoides - Seaberry
Both hardy and nutrient dense, the seaberry is an incredibly versatile plant that is the embodiment of permaculture and all that it stands for.
Scientific Name: Hippophae rhamnoides
Common Name: Seaberry, Sea Buckthorn
Plant Family: Elaeagnaceae
Etymology: Hippophae comes from the Greek words hippo for “horse,” and phaos meaning “to shine.” This is due to the use of the leaves of the seaberry plant as horse fodder to make the horses’ coats shinier. The species name rhamnoides also originates from Greek and means “resembling the Rhamnus,” Rhamnus, meaning the buckthorn plant.
This plant is largely used as a food source for both humans and animals such as horses. The long-lasting orange berries are extremely nutrient dense and the silvery willow-like leaves are noted for being attractive throughout the seasons. The fruit is used for teas, jams, jellies, sauces, and beverages. Seaberry oil is also used in cosmetics.
Historically, seaberry oil has been used for a variety of medicinal solutions such as treating burns, radiation injuries, and intestinal troubles. Different dyes can be obtained from the berries, stems and foliage. The leaves were used by ancient Greeks as feed for horses to promote shiny coats.
- USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
- Forest Garden Layer: shrub, understory
This plant has been used as a windbreak for coastal areas or bogs, as it is well adapted to growing in moist conditions, and can even thrive in sandy soil. Tolerant of wind and low temperature. Seaberry is great for use as a hedge and is a fairly low maintenance plant for the benefits that it provides.
- “Hippophae rhamnoides”. Davis Landscape Architects. 26 November 2012.
- Lu, R (1992). “Sea buckthorn: A multipurpose plant species for fragile mountains” (PDF). ICIMOD Occasional Paper No. 20. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Katmandu, Nepal.
- Missouri Botanical Garden. “Plant Finder: Hippophae rhamnoides”
- Plants for a future. “Hippophae rhamnoides – L.”