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Shepherdia argentea (Pursh) Nutt.
Silver buffaloberry, Buffaloberry
USDA Symbol: SHAR
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Silver buffalo-berry is a mound-shaped shrub, 6-20 ft. tall, which sometimes becomes nearly tree-like. The deciduous plant may be single-trunked or have a few short-trunked stems. Twigs are spiny and silvery gray. Foliage is also silvery-gray. Inconspicuous flowers precede a football-shaped berry that is red, orange or yellow. Shrub or small tree with silvery, scaly leaves, young twigs, berries; branches opposite; twigs often spine-tipped.
The berries are edible, but sour, best after frost in November.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Red, Orange Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , KS , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OR , SD , UT , WI , WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Extreme w. MN & Man. to B.C., s. to KS & MT; also mts. to n. NM & e. CA Native Habitat:
Prairies; banks; ravines USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2) CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Soil Description:
Rocky, sandy or clayey soils. Conditions Comments:
Silver buffaloberry tolerates the poorest of soils and does well in dry or alkaline situations. It is a low maintenance plant and extremely cold- and drought-tolerant. For fruit
set, both male and female plants are required.
BenefitWarning: Plant has thorns or prickles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Plant is best propagated by cuttings. Treated seeds will also work.
Seed Collection: Fruits may be collected by stripping or flailing from the branches. Heavy gloves are necessary to provide protection from the thorns. Seeds can be separated with a macerator and water.
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 60-90 days at 41 degrees. Acid scarification for 20-30 min. proves beneficial.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2009-02-18
Research By: TWC Staff