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Shepherdia canadensis (Russet buffaloberry)
Weyand, Phyllis

Shepherdia canadensis

Shepherdia canadensis (L.) Nutt.

Russet buffaloberry, Rabbitberry

Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)

Synonym(s): Elaeagnus canadensis, Lepargyrea canadensis

USDA Symbol: shca

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

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 Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: White-Gray
Fruit: Red
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May

Distribution

USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , IL , IN , ME , MI , MN , MT , ND , NM , NV , NY , OH , OR , PA , SD , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , ON , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Nf. to AK, s. to ME, PA, Great Lakes, s. Man., CO Rockies, ID & OR; occurs locally in n. Great Plains
Native Habitat: Moist slopes; wooded, rocky hillsides; conifer openings

Growing Conditions

Water 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.

Benefit

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. 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.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACU UPL UPL FACU UPL UPL UPL
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

Additional resources

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

Metadata

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

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