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December Plant of the Month

Sea Buckthorn or Hippophae Ramnoides is one of the very best plants to grow in tough windy conditions. It especially excels in sea side gardens and makes a wonderful formal or informal hedge or screen depending on how its pruned and shaped.

It is a flowering plant from the family Elaeagnaceae, and shares its ability to withstand salt air and high winds with another great seaside plant Elaegnus Ebbengii which is used as an evergreen hedge or screen in coastal gardens along the western sea board. It is relatively fast growing producing up to 1.5 meters of new growth per year.  The willow like foliage is silver in colour; white / yellow flowers are produced in early summer and followed on the female plants by medium sized orange coloured berries during winter.

The root system is interesting as it is very fibrous and helps to bind the soil on banks and slopes really well, it also is ideal to grow on sandy soils as the root system fixes nitrogen from the air which helps to nourish the entire plant on poorer soils. Hippophae berries are a versatile. Food items include juice, sauces, jams, wine, tea, candy, ice cream and sorbet. Its tart, citrus-like flavour complements other foods, and it is a nutritional powerhouse rich in vitamins A, C, E and K.

Hippophae makes a wonderful screen or dense hedge in windy, elevated  and  seaside  locations; it is stock proof as it produces large thorny spines  along the  stems. The small yellow  flowers attract honey bees for the  Nectar and pollen it  produces. Winter is still one of the best  seasons for  planting new plants and  berry producing plants produce their single  flowers in  spring and early  summer attracting our honey bee for  essential pollination to help continue  the  circle of life. Plants of  Hippophae can be ordered through your local Horkans  Store.

 

 

If you have a question for me drop me an email to paraic@horkans.ie you can also find me on https://www.facebook.com/paraic.horkan.7 or on twitter @paraichorkan

Photo by potamos.photography

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