A.K.A Common Sea Buckthorn
Hippophae rhamnoides belongs to a family of flowering plants called Elaeagnaceae. It is described as a thorny shrub found in cold-temperate regions of Europe and Asia, and it can grow up to 2 meters. The leaves alternate from each other, and are narrow, lanceolate, and silverish green in color. The small tree is dioecious meaning it has male and female reproductive parts in separate plants. One can determine the sex of the plant by looking at its flowers. The males are made up of 4-6 apetalous flowers whereas the female only has one apetalous flower and contains one ovary and one ovule. The shrub gets fertilized by wind pollination. Once it is fertilized and flowers then it produces a fruit that grows in round clusters similar to blueberries, and they are yellow to orange in color. Sea Buckthorn has the ability to grow in mineral deficient soils; it has bacteria that live symbiotically in the roots to aid in the fixation of Nitrogen from the air, bringing the soils back into a healthy state. They are also perfect shrubs to plant in order to prevent soil erosion due to its ability to quickly produce a vast rooting system.
Hippophae rhamnoides is very well known in holistic medicine; contains high amounts of vitamin C as well as vitamins A and B. All parts of the plant can be used to make oils, teas, salves and syrups. Active substances such as polyphenols found in this plant have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is used to treat many ailments such as the common cold, digestive issues, infections, cancer, etc. Due to its high regenerative properties, Sea Buckthorn is also commonly used in cosmetic products. It is valued for protecting the skin from UV radiation, dryness, eczema, and relieves signs of aging. Of course, always consult with your primary care provider to see if this is something that can help you out. In some places of Europe and Asia it is used as a feed supplement for animals, it has nutritional properties bring a positive impact to the health and wellness of animals. In Greece, they feed the young leaves and shoots to racehorses to increase their weight quickly and improve the overall health of their coat, making it shinier.
You can find the largest habitat of Hippophae in China where it used for soil and water conservation along with making holistic consumer products. Finding this type of shrub in the United States is rare but it is prized amongst the botanists and gardeners of the nation. It is drought and salt tolerant making it an ideal shrub for the San Francisco Bay area.