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Shepherdia is a member of the sucker family who came from North America. Round-leaved shepherdia is characterized by poor winter hardiness, Canadian shepherdia does not have nutritious fruits, therefore Silver Shepherdia has become the most popular.
- What is Shepherdia like?
- Planting and leaving
- Beneficial features
What is Shepherdia like?
Among the people, Shepherdia has more than 20 names, as soon as this plant is not called. The most common names are: bison, rabbit or bovine berry, Nebraska currant, crucified berry, but more often American sea buckthorn.
Shepherdia appears as a spreading bush that grows up to 6 meters in height. Sometimes, in the process of pruning, one trunk is left in the bush, and the shepherdia is grown in the form of a tree. The branches are powerful, intertwining. They have sharp thorns. Young shoots are silver in color, with time acquiring a brownish tint.
Shepherdia leaves are oblong, covered with fine fluff on both sides, giving a silvery shade. Shepherdia blooms before the leaves appear, in April-early May for 7-12 days. Flowers are collected in small inflorescences, small, yellow. The plant is dioecious and cross-pollinated. The male plant has large round flower buds. In the female plant, the flower buds are smaller and have a pointed tip.
Fruiting begins in the 2-3 year of the plant. The fruits are oblong red drupes with a sour-sweet taste and a slight bitterness. They ripen at the end of summer, but often the crop is harvested after the first frost, when the bitterness disappears.
Shepherdia is grown not only as a fruit, but also as an ornamental plant. It takes pride of place in landscape design and is used for single and group plantings. From it, fairly dense hedges are obtained, which lend themselves well to decorative pruning.
Planting and leaving
Silver shepherdia is a rather unpretentious, frost-resistant plant. It tolerates drought well and is resistant to many diseases. Shepherdia is undemanding to the composition of the soil, it can grow on sandy, rocky and saline soils.
The place for the shepherdia is chosen sunny. Planting is carried out in the spring, but it is possible in the fall. Saplings are planted at a distance of at least 2 meters from each other. For a hedge at a distance of 0.5 m. For 3-5 female seedlings, one male is enough. If a single planting is planned, then a male branch can be grafted onto a female tree. A pit is prepared for seedlings, 50-70 cm deep. Peat or manure is added.
There are small tubers on the roots of the plant, when planting it is very important not to damage them and evenly distribute them inside the pit. The roots are covered carefully, the earth is not strongly tamped. After planting, the plant is poured abundantly with water and sprinkled with dry soil on top. Can be mulched.
Shepherdia is unpretentious in care. The soil around the seedling is weeded and loosened. The young plant is regularly watered. Shepherdia needs pruning. Every year, the bush is thinned out and dry branches are removed. For hedges, make arbitrary pruning and remove dried parts. Once 5 years, a rejuvenating pruning is performed and the old branches are replaced with young ones.
American sea buckthorn is propagated by seeds, cuttings and root suckers. When propagated by seeds, the plant will bear fruit only for 4-5 years. Seeds are sown in autumn, shoots appear in spring. The germination percentage most often exceeds 80%. When propagated by root branches, Shepherdia will bear fruit for 3 years. For propagation by cuttings, green shoots are used, soaked for a day in stimulating solutions and stuck into moist nutrient soil.
Cover with cellophane on top. After 3 weeks, the seedlings take root. The main thing is not to forget to cut the cuttings from the female and male plants. As you can see, shepherdia is quite unpretentious in care, it multiplies easily and grows in any soil, and its fruits have many useful properties.
Shepherdia is a natural source of vitamins and minerals. Its fruits in the composition of vitamin C can compete with citrus fruits. And in terms of the amount of oil substances and catechins, she overtook sea buckthorn. What other useful substances are contained in Shepherdia?
The chemical composition of the berries:
- Vitamin C
- Organic acids
- Vitamins C, P
Shepherdia is used for:
- Strengthening blood vessels
- Boost immunity
- Treating flu, colds
- Prevention of heart disease
- Fight viral infections
- Cancer prevention
- Pressure stabilization
Shepherdia berries are used fresh, frozen or dried. They are used to prepare compotes, medicinal tinctures, preserves, jellies and jelly. They are added to desserts, pastries and main courses. Berries are used to spice up sauces for meat and fish dishes.
Shepherdia is famous for its perenniality, one plant can bear fruit annually for up to 50 years. 15-20 kg of berries are harvested from each bush. Shepherdia is easy to care for, is not afraid of diseases and pests, and grows in the most severe conditions. Shepherdia fruits are a real source of health and longevity. Shepherdia is a worthy inhabitant of any household plot.
An interesting video about Shepherdia narrow-leaved: