The hippophae genus belongs to the Eleagneaceae family and includes 3 species: the H. rhamnoides, the H. salicifolia, and h. Tibetan. Only the first plant, of which we will speak in particular, is widespread in cultivation because it is the only one to have ornamental qualities. The rhamnoides, which is also called sea buckthorn, is a shrub that easily transforms into a tree. The height can go from 2 meters up to nine. In general, however, it stands at 3.
It originates from all over Europe and Asia and its ideal habitat is the riverside with a sandy or limestone soil. The branches are initially cracked vertically and a dull gray color, but over time they become blackish. They are equipped with apical and lateral spines. The leaves are up to 7 cm long and 1,5 wide, not toothed, silvery and scaly on the two pages.
It blooms abundantly with flowers brought by short racemes at the same time as the leaves appear, in April. Being a dioecious plant there are specimens that bear only male flowers and others that bear only female flowers. Consequently, if you want to get the fruits in the garden, you need both plants. These are ovoid berry, 6 to 8 mm long, orange and contain a single seed, brown. They appear around September, in dense clusters that line the branches. They are very persistent and often last throughout the winter because they are not very popular with birds.
These shrubs generally begin to produce fruit three years after the plant and enter full production when they reach 7-8. Males bloom a little earlier than females for a period of 6 to 12 days. From the moment of pollination it is necessary to wait at least 12 weeks for the fruits to ripen.
Medium-sized shrub with deciduous leaves, originating in Europe and Asia; it has quite rapid growth and can reach 3-4 meters in height. The stem is erect, very branched, the branches are equipped with long thorns; the young specimens have disordered foliage, which tends to become rounded or umbrella-like with the passing of the years. The leaves are opposite, linear, 5-8 cm long, greyish-green on the upper page, lighter, almost whitish, on the lower page. These are dioecious shrubs, therefore male and female flowers bloom on separate plants, and it is therefore necessary to have at least two specimens, one per sex, of hippophae to get the fruits. the flowers are greenish-yellow, not very decorative, they bloom before the leaves appear, in March-April. In summer the female specimens produce the fruits, very similar to olives, but orange-yellow in color; the sea buckthorn fruits are arranged along the branches, are edible, despite having a fairly acidic taste and can be used to produce syrups. These plants are used for deciduous hedges or even as single specimens; their ability to consolidate the soil, with a well-developed root system, and the presence of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots makes sea buckthorns very suitable also for consolidating landslides, or even in flowerbeds at the edges of roads.