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Shepherdia canadensis (L.) Nutt.
Russet buffaloberry, Rabbitberry
Synonym(s): Elaeagnus canadensis, Lepargyrea canadensis
USDA Symbol: SHCA
A small, loosely branched shrub of rounded outline, 6-8 ft. high and equally as wide, with thick, leathery, gray-green to russet-green foliage. Small, inconspicuous, yellow flowers are followed by yellowish-red, oval-shaped fruits. The orange-dotted white bark give the branches a rusty appearance. Branches opposite; young twigs brownish, scaly.
Deer and Elk consume the foliage of this shrub, while Grizzly and Black Bears consume the berries.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Red Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, WY Canada: AB
, YT Native Distribution:
Nf. to AK,
s. to ME, PA,
Great Lakes, s. Man., CO
& OR; occurs locally in n. Great Plains Native Habitat:
Moist slopes; wooded, rocky hillsides; conifer openings
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil pH:
Alkaline (pH>7.2) CaCO3 Tolerance:
High Soil Description:
Adaptable, but prefers moist, rocky soils. Conditions Comments:
Tolerates the poorest of soils; does well in dry or alkaline situations. Low maintenance. Extremely cold- and drought-tolerant. For fruit
set both male and female plants are required.
BenefitConspicuous 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. 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
National Wetland Indicator Status
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:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2009-02-18
Research By: TWC Staff