The vitamin C concentration of sea berry fruit is 30 times higher than the amount of an orange, 25 times that of a strawberry, and 5 times that of a kiwi. Their vitamin E content exceeds wheat, corn and soybeans. Many people prefer seaberry juice to orange juice, and some enjoy eating the berries fresh off the tree. Read about more health benefits at Livestrong and 101healthyrecipes.com.
Regular deep watering during the hot dry spells of summer will increase seaberry yields substantially. Phosphorus and Potash, along with micro nutrients are necessary, while Nitrogen can actually hinder the plants growth and general vigour.
Sea berry, Hippophae rhamnoides, are either male or female so males are needed for pollination. Males need to be planted at a rate of 1 male for every 6 females, six feet apart. Sea Berry is wind pollinated and bears approximately 3 years after planting. Sea berry is hardy to minus 40° F, grows in USDA zones 3-9, likes full sun and well-drained soil. Ideal pH is between 6.3 and 6.8. Height 8-12'. Spread 5+'
Please note that some varieties of seaberry sucker, up to 15 feet or more, so should not be planted next to your neighbor's property line! Suckers are best controlled by simply mowing the grass around the bush. However, sea buckthorn should not be confused with the black-berried common buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica L. which is considered a noxious weed.
Medium height (10' - 15' H) with very few thorns.
Fruits are bright orange at maturity and remain firm for a long period which can be harvested until first frost (4-6 weeks harvest from August into September in northern states). Average berry weight 68g/100 berries. Mary has a higher oil content than Sunny and its flavor is more pronounced but the flavour is still mild and pleasant since it is low in total acids, which makes it a great choice for food and beverages as well. Higher oil content is preferable for skin care products. It has, enough oil content to make it the first choice for Finnish company Aromtech, who makes supplement capsules, and the flavor is right up there with Sunny as to palatability. This cultivar produces smaller berries than Sunny but the shrubs are very good producers overall.
Eva (female) comes from a specially selected seedling from Mary. New to North American in 2017, she comes to us from a Latvian breeding program. The height of the shrubs and look of the berries are the same as Mary. The main differences between the two is the amounts of polyphenols present in the berries and Eva has a bit more oil than Mary. It was developed for maximum nutrient value and has the bonus of producing good tasting fruits also. Great for nutraceuticals and healing ointments.
Sunny™ Seaberry (female) is a medium height shrub (10-12') with very few thorns. It is an early ripening cultivar which has been growing in North America since the early 2000's. It starts to ripen in August in zone 3 (approx. 100 days after flowering) and harvest time runs for two wees. It is vigorous and well adapted for our climate. The fruits are a bright yellow. Its flavor is mildly tart with a distinct mango-ish flavor. The genetics of this cultivar have been considered the best choice for home gardeners and commercial comestible crops alike for generations. The size and flavour of its fruit is among the best for cooking and juice blends. It has lower oil content than other varieties which some people prefer for making juice and other food products, while more oil may be preferred for cosmetics use.
Sunny History: This Russian born breed (originally named Botaniceskaya Ljubitelskaya), was renamed and registered as Sunny in Latvia and was selected by Latvian agronomists as the first choice for commercial comestible sea buckthorn products.
Berry weight: avg. 1 gram (with proper care)
Thorns: Sunny will have a few small thorns along the branch and at the tip but far less thorny than Leikora and Hergo. A bit more thorny than Chuskaya.
4-year-old pruned to 2' tall
Production Guide (Thomas & McLoughlin, 1997 )
Overview in French (Trépanier, 2011)
International Sea Buckthorn conference, Germany 2013
Himalayan Sea Buckthorn
Universite Laval article by Gutierrez, Luis Felipe
Fotos of various unnamed bushes.