Hippophae rhamnoides (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Elaeagnus angustifolia
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Hippophae rhamnoides (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Ephedra strobilacea
Hippophae rhamnoides
Hippophae rhamnoides
Hippophae rhamnoides fruits

Hippophae rhamnoides L.

Local name:

  • Russian: Облепиха крушиновидная - oblepiha krušinovidnaja
  • Tadjik: Sarkonak, Sarkonazh
  • Uzbek: Jumrutnamo, Chikanda, Chakanda

Chromosome number: 2n = 12, 24 (Darmer 1947; Fedorov 1969).

Description and morphology: Perennial small tree or shrub (height up to 2.5 m), thorny, deciduous, dense ramification. Leaves: simple, alternate (15–50 cm long), elliptic-lanceolate to oblong. Dioecious plant. Male flowers (2.5 mm long), in clusters at base of shoots; calyx lobes sub-orbicular; 4 stamens. Female flowers yellowish assembled, axillary of spines, in dense clusters by 2–9. Ovary superior, unilocular.

Reproduction: Sexual. Entomophilous. Flowering: April–May. Fruit maturation: September– October. Fruit: sub-globose, fleshy drupe (5–6 mm in diameter), in clusters, succulent, orange. Seed: small with erect large embryo and remains of endosperm. Dormancy A3–B3 type. Seed of cultivated origin has no dormancy. Wild seeds require stratification (2–5/10 °C and 20 °C, 16 hours/30 °C, 8 hours) for 1–3 months. Treatment with KMnO4 (0.05%) significantly stimulates germination.

Pastoral importance: None. Sometimes used for fences. Also used for sand-fixation in certain conditions (e.g. a high water table).

Economic value: Fruits eaten by birds. Leaves contain more than 10% tannin, used as tannic raw material. Local people use fruit as food, for jam and in wine production, as well as for paint extract. Wood used for hand carving. Used in mountain and riparian forestation programmes for its sand-fixing ability. Also, it is used as a live fence because of its beautiful foliage, strong branches and prickliness. Much used in traditional medicine (for respiratory, gastric and dermatological problems).

Habitat: Hydro-halo-xerophyte. Frequently occurs on sandy soils or dunes on saline water table, mountain stream beds and in cold temperate steppe zones. It forms dense thickets on the floodplain.

Distribution: Southern Europe, European part of Russia, Ural, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Pamir-Alai, Tien Shan, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan.