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Keywords: Hippophae

PAL Question:

I am wondering about whether or not sea buckthorn grows here in Washington, if you have examples of it at the arboretum, or if anyone here sells the tree or the berries/extracts. A Ukrainian friend told me about the health benefits of the berries, and I was curious as to whether sea buckthorn can be found in Washington state.

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Washington State University's Fruit Research Station in Mount Vernon has been growing sea buckthorn, or Hippophae rhamnoides, in its fruit trials. Below are the varieties they grew:

Sea Buckthorn (Seaberry)
'Frugana'
'Hergosa'
'Leikora'
'Pollmix' male
'Russian Orange'

Page 14 of this WSU publication includes the results of the trials:

"Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a very thorny shrub or small tree native to eastern Europe and Asia. It has nitrogen fixing properties and is very tolerant of drought and poor soils, so has been introduced as a shelter belt plant in some of the plains States and Canada. In eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union the berries are commonly harvested for juice, which has nutritious and other healthful properties. Medicinal uses of extracted plant oils are also well documented in Europe and Asia. Plants on trial at Mount Vernon have fruited very successfully for the past 3 years, and appear quite well adapted horticulturally. The plants are very productive, setting many small orange fruits with a citrus like flavor. The juice is high in vitamin C. We have not had any problems with pests thus far and this shows great potential for organic growing. The commercial potential of this plant is being pursued by the British Columbia Sea Buckthorn Growers' Association, in the Okanagan Valley. Information on the Association and on sea buckthorn is available from Okanagan Sea Buckthorn. More information in a paper on the fruit potential of sea buckthorn by Thomas S.C. Li from the Summerland, B.C. fruit research station."

According to Arthur Lee Jacobson's Trees of Seattle (2006), there is a specimen in the Washington Park Arboretum, but it may be easier to locate the 19-foot example at the Good Shepherd Center on the south wall of the annex (see directions to Seattle Tilth) There are others at Meadowbrook Park, and individual residences at 4015 NE 70th St., and 208 NE 42nd St. You might also ask the manager of the U.W. Medicinal Herb Garden if he has grown it: Keith Possee, UW Medicinal Herb Garden 206-543-0436, 543-1126; kpossee@u.washington.edu.

From the Raintree Nursery catalog:

"Perhaps the most widely grown, northern hardy, fruiting plant in the world and most Americans have never heard of it. Incredibly productive and great for your backyard. This attractive small tree or shrub from the Russian Far East has narrow silver leaves. It grows from 6-10' tall with a narrow upright growth habit. Space 7' apart or 3-5' for a hedge. It is extremely hardy, to -50 F. It is disease resistant and easy to grow. Plentiful round yellow orange fruits cover the female plants making them beautiful edible ornamentals. Branches are used in florist displays. Commercial crops are harvested by cutting off entire fruit laden branches. Very high in Vitamin C, ln Europe the fruit is made into sauces or jellies and as a base of liqueurs. The juice is sour and has an orange passionfruit like flavor when sweetened. Blended with other fruits, or by itself, it makes a delicious juice. It is also used widely in Europe and Asia as a healing oil and for other medicinal purposes."

Season All Season
Date 2007-06-14
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June 24 2013 12:55:25