Sea berry or Sea buckthorn
ELAEAGNACEAE, The Oleaster family
The weather has been so hot, dry and windy. I helped with watering at work today, giving the fruit trees and small fruits a good drink. I tasted the sea berry, its orange ovals are sweet and tart, candy-like flavor. It’s supposed to make good juice. The fruits are very high in nutrients, especially vitamin C. Sea berry is native to Europe and central Asia. It is still popular in many countries, especially Germany.
The sea berry shrub reminds me of Silver buffalo berry, (Shepherdia), or Russian olive, (also called Oleaster, Elaeagnus), the two other genera in the family. The narrow leaves are a silvery blue-green. They grow to 6 to 8 feet tall and are hardy to zone 3. A small bush can bear a crop 1 to 3 years after planting. They are dioeceous and wind pollinated, so plant a male shrub for every 6 to 8 fruiting shrubs.
The persistent fruits add fall and winter interest to the garden and are attractive in floral arrangements.
‘Hergo’, ‘Leikora’ and ‘Titan’ are cultivars available in the Northwest.
Update April, 2014:
Be forewarned, these sucker so give them plenty of space.