Shrubs or trees, more or less covered with minute, silvery or brown scurfy scales. It differs from the Daphne family in having erect and not pendulous ovules and seeds.

A small family of few genera spread over the northern hemisphere.

Hippophae Rhamnoides L. Sea Buckthorn

The only species. A stiff and spiny willow-like shrub, covered with scaly scurf, silvery on the under-side of the leaves, thin or none on the upper, and more rusty on the younger shoots, which often end in a stout prickle. Leaves alternate, entire, broadly linear. Male flowers very small and in little clusters like catkins, female flowers crowded in the axils. Fruit a small yellowish or orange-brown berry in almost sessile, crowded clusters on the bare, woody stems.

Sandy and stony places, and beds of rivers and mountain torrents from the sea-level to 5000 feet in the Alps, as, e.g. on the Col de Balme (French side). Flowers in spring.


Central, Eastern, and Northern Europe; Central and Russian Asia. Local in Britain and often planted to mat the sand of sand-hills together. This useful property can be seen naturally in some of the river valleys of Switzerland and in the north of France, as, e.g. between Calais and Paris.