Plant Description:

There are seven species, mostly native to the Quinhai-Xinzag plateau, and eight subspecies native over a wide area of Europe and Asia.[2]

The common sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is by far the most widespread of the species in the genus, with the ranges of its seven supspecies extending from the Atlantic coasts of Europe right across to northwestern China. In western Europe, it is largely confined to sea coasts where salt spray off the sea prevents other larger plants from out-competing it, but in central Asia it is more widespread in dry semi-desert sites where other plants cannot survive the dry conditions. In central Europe and Asia it also occurs as a subalpine shrub above tree line in mountains, and other sunny areas such as river banks. They are tolerant of salt in the air and soil, but demand full sunlight for good growth and do not tolerate shady conditions near larger trees. They typically occur in dry, sandy areas.

More than 90 percent or about 1.5 million hectares of the world’s sea buckthorn plantations can be found in China where the plant is exploited for soil and water conservation purposes.[3]
[edit] Description

The shrubs reach 0.5–6 m tall, rarely up to 10 m in central Asia. The leaf arrangement can be alternate, or opposite.[4]
Common Sea-buckthorn foliage and berries

Common sea-buckthorn has branches that are dense and stiff, and very thorny. The leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, lanceolate, 3–8 cm long and less than 7 mm broad. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male produces brownish flowers which produce wind-distributed pollen. The female plants produce orange berry-like fruit 6–9 mm in diameter, soft, juicy and rich in oils. The roots distribute rapidly and extensively, providing a non-leguminous nitrogen fixation role in surrounding soils.

Hippophae salicifolia (willow-leaved sea-buckthorn) is restricted to the Himalaya, to the south of the common sea-buckthorn, growing at high altitudes in dry valleys; it differs from H. rhamnoides in having broader (to 10 mm broad), greener (less silvery) leaves, and yellow berries. A wild variant occurs in the same area, but at even higher altitudes in the alpine zone[citation needed]. It is a low shrub not growing taller than 1 m with small leaves 1–3 cm long.

Plant Characteristics

Common Name: Common Seabuckthorn
Latin Name: Hippophae rhamnoides
USDA Hardiness Zone: 2
Light Requirements: more than 6 hours of direct sun
Soil Requirements: Sandy
PH Sensitivity: Alkaline