Sea Buckthorn

(Hippophae rhamnoides)

sea buckthorn, canadian cultivars, canadian foodAlso known as Siberian pineapple, sea berry, sandthorn or swallow thorn, sea buckthorn has been traditionally grown in Europe and Asia. This multi-purpose bush is planted widely in gullies and slopes for soil conservation, livestock feeding and income generation. It was planted as hedgerows in Saskatchewan several decades ago to not only protect crops and prevent erosion but as a great place for birds to nest and feed.

Its popularity is owed to its varied uses, both as food and for its medicinal properties. Sea buckthorn can be made into juice, a delicious tea and even bread from the pulp after its juice is extracted. Its oil has high levels of Vitamin E, carotenoids, phytosterols and essential fatty acids and is therefore useful in treatment of external maladies such as burns, eczema and slow healing wounds.

With its ability to grow in nutrient and moisture-lacking soil, this plant is increasingly commonly grown in Canada. It is very hardy and resilient.   Its ideal growing conditions take place in light to medium sandy loam with lots of sunlight and minimum precipitation of 400 mm annually.

With files from Simcoe Research Station publication “New Crops, Old Challenges: Tips and tricks for managing new crops!” and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
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