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Shepherdia argentea (Silver buffaloberry)
Unknown, NPSOT

Shepherdia argentea

Shepherdia argentea (Pursh) Nutt.

Silver buffaloberry, Buffaloberry

Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)

Synonym(s): Elaeagnus utilis, Lepargyrea argentea

USDA Symbol: SHAR

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: White-Gray
Fruit: Red, Orange
Size Class: 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , KS , MI , MN , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OR , SD , UT , WI , WY
Canada: AB , MB , 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

Growing Conditions

Water 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.

Benefit

Warning: Plant has thorns or prickles.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Propagation

Description: 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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU UPL FACU FACU FACU
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

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, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter1991 VOL. 8, NO.3 - Native Plants Provide a Wealth of Foods and Fibers, Letter from the President, A...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Shepherdia argentea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Shepherdia argentea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Shepherdia argentea

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2009-02-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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