Red sea buckthorn - Shepherdia (a mixture of sea buckthorn and barberry)
Shepherdia (or red sea buckthorn) belongs to the family of sea buckthorn and is considered a hybrid resulting from the crossbreeding of sea buckthorn and barberry. In the article you will learn about the beneficial properties of this berry, the methods of plant propagation and the features of garden care. Below is a detailed description of it.
Botanical description of the plant
This bush is also called buffalo berry or pink sea buckthorn. North America is considered its homeland. This is a short bush with red berries. They are covered with whitish dots. Annually brings 15‒20 kg of berries for 25‒30 years or more. It is believed that the most fertile is the old tree.
Berries are ready to eat in August, but they are picked after the first frost, which improves the taste.
Due to unpretentiousness, frost resistance, unusual appearance of the plant successfully used in landscape design, mainly as a material for hedges and an element of alpine slides. Shepherdia blooms in the first warm days. Cream and pale yellow inflorescences appear one and a half to two weeks before the leaves and attract insects to the garden.
Did you know? Shepherdia got its name thanks to the botanist Thomas Natolom in 1818. Now the plant bears the name of his friend John Shepherdy, who was the director of the Liverpool Botanical Garden.
Interestingly, male flowers gather in short spikelets, and female flowers grow individually. The leaves of the bush are small, green, of an original elliptical shape and are covered on both sides by a fluff so that in the sun they get a silver tint. Shrub deciduous, and wilted leaves remain on the branches.
All of them are with thorns, and in the absence of forming pruning, they are intricately intertwined and form difficult to pass thickets. Shepherdia is quite resistant to disease and protected from the harm caused by insects, tolerates winter frosts and is unpretentious in care.
Types of Shepherdia
Shepherd silver (Shepherdia argentea) is grown to produce tasty healthy berries and used for decorative purposes.
Canadian shepherd (Shepherdia canadensis) is a beautiful, bushy bush up to 1.5 m high. The leaves are colored silver on one side and gray-green on top, there are no thorns on the branches. Due to its low frost resistance, it is not widely used by designers, although it has a bright color.
Did you know? The scientific name is Hippophae sea buckthorn (“hippos” - horse, “faos” - brilliant). The etymology of the word takes its roots in ancient Greece, where horses were treated with the leaves of this tree.
Chafer Shepherd (Shepherdia rotundifolia) - higher than its relatives, but retains its spreading form. The crown is dense, the branches are intertwined with rounded leaves of dark green color.
A distinctive feature is a unique warty leaf covering with small growths. Abundant flowering leads to a rich harvest of beautiful, but inedible berries. The round-leaved shepherd in local gardens feels comfortable and is used as a decorative element.
The chemical composition and beneficial properties of the berry
Shepherdia bypasses its cousin sea buckthorn by a set of contained nutrients. In the first place is vitamin C, the amount of which is comparable to citrus fruits. Particularly valuable are catechins and oil substances, due to which red sea buckthorn is assigned to medicinal plants. In addition, the berries have substances with tannin properties, carotene, pectin, organic acids and lipoxins, as well as vitamin P.
Berries help increase immunity and restore the body after diseases. Carotene gives an excellent cosmetic effect, favorably affects the condition of the skin, improves the performance of visual analyzers, so that berries can prevent many eye diseases.
Official medicine recognized the strengthening effect of red sea-buckthorn berries on the walls of blood vessels. Leukanthocyanins and catechins reduce fragility of arteries, increase the elasticity of the walls of veins. In addition to pharmacists and cosmetologists, shepherd berries are highly appreciated by winemakers and confectioners.
High nutrients with low nutritional value of the products make these berries an excellent supplement during diets and fasting days.
Shepherdia easily tolerates low temperatures and feels comfortable in any bright, dry areas, if they are protected from winter winds. An adult plant does not need additional watering, moreover, it is recommended to avoid areas with groundwater. If the soil is heavy, then it is worth lightening it, providing drainage and outflow of moisture.
Perhaps, waterlogging is the only threat to the plant. Mulching can also increase productivity and regular shallow - no more than 6 cm, loosening of the peritoneal circle. Top dressing should be done only when the soil is really poor in organic matter. Then humus and compost diluted and introduced gradually will be useful.
If you plan to grow shepherdia not only for decorative purposes, but also to obtain a stable crop, then when planting a plant, you need to observe the gender ratio of trees: 4-5 females per 1 male plant. This scheme can provide good pollination.
Sex can be determined by the structure of the kidney. Female specimens are smaller, pointed, elongated along the trunk and tightly pressed to it. The male kidney is larger and rounded.
Shepherd is not as demanding on the soil as its relatives. A feature of the root system is nodules filled with special bacteria, which allows the plant to provide itself with nitrogen from the air and feel comfortable even on poor organic soils. It is preferable to plant sea buckthorn in the spring, so that by winter it has time to get stronger.
Important! The red-fruited bush has a superficial and fairly branched root system. The plant is planted on cliffs, steep slopes and hillocks, as it can create protection against erosion of areas.
To do this, you must:
- Choose a quality seedling.
- Dig a hole about 40 cm deep.
- Pour sand to make the soil softer. It is also recommended to add a mixture of fertilizer in the ratio of 1: 1.
- Carefully remove the seedling along with a lump of earth, being careful not to damage the roots of the plant.
- Submerge the plant in the pit and sprinkle with earth.
- Water sparingly and tamp lightly.
Caring for an adult who has successfully passed the stage of formation of the root system with a red sea buckthorn tree is not difficult. Usually a plant intended for harvesting berries is formed in the form of a short tree or compact shrub.
In any case, the crown requires formative pruning, since the first 5–7 years every season a large number of new shoots appear in large numbers. Anti-aging pruning is needed less often: once every 4-5 years is enough. By significantly shortening the main and side branches, you will provide not only a high yield, but also an increase in the size of the berries themselves.
A distinctive feature of the fruit tree is the convenience of picking berries that separate easily. To avoid contact with prickly branches, some gardeners spread a film under the crown and, with a simple shake, get a clean, dry berry.
If you have access to a healthy, strong plant 2-3 years old, which has already shown its yield, then you can get your own planting material in one of three ways: seed propagation, root offspring, or cuttings.
Seeds Sown in the fall, after preliminary stratification for 2–3 months in a cool place with a temperature of no higher than 3 ° C: then germination up to 80% is guaranteed. The ratio of males and females in this case is almost the same, therefore, some additional work is not required.
Shoots will appear in late April or early May. With good care, young growth by the end of the first season reaches 15–20 cm in height, and the roots are extended by 6–8 cm. It must be remembered that plants grown from seeds will begin to bear fruit only for 4-5 years.
Cuttings, using the widely used rooting stimulants on the market, it becomes the most effective way to get a large number of seedlings-peers quickly. This is important, for example, when laying a hedge or scheduled updating of the garden fund.
At the end of June, cuttings 15–20 cm in size are harvested from the most healthy first-year shoots. Each of them should have at least 3-4 knots. If seedlings are prepared for themselves, and not for sale, then cuttings from male and female plants are cut in a ratio of 1: 5, since for full pollination, such a proportion - 4-5 female to 1 male, is the most productive.
Did you know? Sea buckthorn was the first tool used in radiation exposure in 1986. This need was caused by the events at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Before planting in the soil, free the cuttings from the leaves and place in a growth stimulator, diluted according to the instructions. Usually this procedure takes 12-15 hours.
Cuttings are planted to a depth of 3–5 cm in the soil lightened with river sand and peat. They are planted to a depth of 3–5 cm. Shelter with a film or plastic bottles gives a good effect to create a greenhouse effect. Good strait and shading are also needed, protection from direct sunlight. With strict observance of all the rules, the June cuttings are ready for transplanting by the end of September.
1 - cut off from uterine ratsenia shoot; 2 - cuttings prepared for planting; 3 - cuttings planted under a film; 4 - a buried stalk.
Root propagation although it does not make it possible to obtain a large number of new seedlings at a time, it is attractive due to its simplicity, and also because they with their own system are planted in a permanent place in the soil and quickly adapt.
To obtain the root offspring should:
- Identify a strong plant with a shoot of at least 2 years old.
- Carefully separate the formed process and, trying to maintain the largest possible earthen lump, transfer to a previously prepared landing hole.
- Unclaimed shoots are best trimmed to the root to avoid thickening of the bush and the outflow of nutrients from the mother plant.
1 - root offspring; 2 - uterine plant; 3 - separated offspring; 4 - received seedling for planting.
Regardless of which propagation method you choose, the general requirements for the care of formed seedlings remain:
- the soil treatment is neat, shallow, as the root system is superficial;
- obligatory mulching of the root circle;
- transplantation to a permanent place no earlier than two years into holes with a depth of at least 50 cm filled with fertile soil.
How and when to pick and store berries
It is best to pick berries after the first frost. Then sea buckthorn will be easiest to remove from the branches, and it will have an optimal level of maturity. This will make it easy to make compotes and preserves from it with the condition of preserving the useful properties of the product.
Important! Red sea buckthorn contains tetrahydroharmol: in a sufficiently large volume, it acts on the human body as a psychedelic.
The easiest way to collect the fruits of a hybrid of sea buckthorn with barberry is to lay a sheet around the bush and just shake the branches a little. The berries are easily showered, which will allow not to use special means for harvesting. To save the berry for the winter, you can dry it.
Further, it will be possible to cook compote from it or use it for other culinary purposes. Often shefferdia is immediately prepared, processed into jam or making sauce.
Recipes using shepherdia are very simple and do not require many ingredients. The main thing - when cooking, adhere to a simple algorithm and properly store the finished product. It will be able to safely be stored throughout the cold season and even delight with its pleasant taste all four seasons.
To make compote you will need:
Important! You can add sugar already in the cooled compote or immediately after decantation: this way the sweetness does not absorb in the boiled fruit.
- 300 g of shepherdia;
- 2.5 liters of water;
- 100 g of sugar.
- Peel and sort the berries, removing dried or spoiled.
- Put them in cold water, put on medium heat, bring to a boil.
- Let it boil for one or two minutes and turn off the heat.
- Next, you need to leave the compote and let it brew for 15 minutes, so that the berries give away all the nutrients.
- Strain the compote and add sugar to it.
To make jam you will need:
- 1 kg of shepherdia red;
- 1.5 kg of sugar;
- 5 glasses of water.
- Pour sugar in water and stir.
- Add the pre-washed berries to the syrup and let it brew for 6 hours.
- After it should be put on the stove, bring to a boil and cook until thickened.
To make red sea buckthorn sauce you will need:
- 250-300 g of shepherdia;
- 1 glass of water;
- red pepper, cumin, turmeric and ginger to taste.
- Pre-prepared berries pour water, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Knead them and boil for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve.
- Cook the remaining mass for 15 minutes, add spices.
This sauce is served with meat or vegetable dishes.
Red sea buckthorn, or shepherdia contains many useful vitamins and minerals. It is popular and is actively used in cooking, and in appearance it is very similar to traditional sea buckthorn. Now you know what you can cook from these berries to get the most benefit for the body.