NAME: Silver Buffaloberry
OTHER COMMON NAMES: Bull Berry / Bullberry / Spiny Buffaloberry / Thorny Buffalo Berry
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Shepherdia Argentea syn. Elaeagnus Utilis / Lepargyrea Argentea
COLOR: Silvery Foliage / Yellow Flowers / Red Fruit
PLANT SEEDS: Fall / Cold stratify / Indoors weeks before last frost / Outdoors after danger of frost
BLOOM TIME: March (Before Leafing)
HARVEST: Fall (July - Dec)
HARDINESS ZONE: 3 - 9
PLANT HEIGHT: 6 - 18' (Typically to 12' tall)
PLANT SPACING: 8 - 12'
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun - Part Shade
SOIL & WATER PREFERENCES: Average (And Moist - Dry)
QUANTITY: 20 Seeds
OTHER: The Silver Buffaloberry is a beautiful & useful native shrub that hails from central & western North American with a native range north from Canada & south to California. Buffaloberries are wonderful as an ornamental, an edible, as living fences, in wildlife gardens, & for erosion control.
These low-maintenance shrubs tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions from drought to moderate flooding, maritime influences such as salt & wind, & poor soils ranging from sandy to rocky to heavy clays. The Buffaloberry can be found in a wide variety of areas from prairies to dry limestone canyons & thrive along the moist edges of rivers, streams, & lakes. This shrub can even help fix nitrogen & prevent soil erosion on banks. They are very cold hardy but also perform very well in hot climates.
The Silver Buffaloberry's leaves are covered in fine silvery hairs that give it a lovely shimmery appearance. It's tubular yellow flowers are fairly small, but numbering in the thousands & blooming very early in the season before the leaves appear, they will not go unnoticed. They are very bushy thicket-forming shrubs with thorned branches, making them a good choice for a living fence or border, also providing shelter for a large number of small animals & an excellent nesting site for songbirds, who will love love love to eat their berries come fall. Deer browse the foliage, which could be good or bad in your eyes depending on your purpose for planting :) The plants are dioecious, so if fruit is desired, both male & female plants are needed.
In fall, Buffaloberry shrubs are smothered in an abundance of showy red edible fruit (that is not technically a berry despite the name). The fruit measures about 1/4" in size & is tart but sweetens up after a frost. Buffaloberries can be eaten fresh (raw) or dried, & are often used to make pies, jellies, & sauces. The name is attributed to Native American Indians for who commonly used it as a flavoring / sauce for buffalo meat. It is recommended to eat the fruit in moderation, because it contains saponin, especially in the raw form, as cooking breaks down the saponin. Native Americans used the berries in traditional medicine, & recent studies show the berries to be high in lycopene which is used to combat cancers, heart disease, & more.
Calling all Hawkeyes :) The Silver Buffaloberry is listed as a threatened species in Iowa. You can help restore the native habitat by planting these :)
** We have a large variety of native fruiting shrub seeds available in our store including the American Silverberry, Elderberry, Cranberry, Raspberry, & more! **
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Jul 24, 2020
Seeds look good. Looking forward to growing them!
Jul 17, 2020
Fast and was in great condition. Planted seeds already.
Apr 28, 2020
Beautiful seeds, well packaged, arrived fast, can’t wait to plant!