Alphabetical Plant Listing

Shepherdia argentea (Silver Buffaloberry)

Silver Buffaloberry, Buffaloberry, Buffalo Berry, Rabbit Berry, Beef Suet Tree, Silverberry, Elaeagnus utilis, Lepargyrea argentea


Low maintenance, extremely cold- and drought-tolerant, Shepherdia argentea (Silver Buffaloberry) is a bushy deciduous shrub of upright habit with silver-scaled thorny stems clad with ornate, elliptic leaves, 2 in. long (5 cm), covered with silvery scales on both surfaces. Silver Buffaloberry is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. Insignificant greenish-yellow flowers bloom in spring before the leaves emerge. They attract bees and flies and are followed, on female plants, by pea-sized, bright red berries which mature in the fall. The berries are edible, but sour tasting. They may be eaten fresh off the shrub or used to make pies, jams or jellies. Attractive, they enliven the fall landscape unless eaten by birds. Both male and female plants are needed to have berries. Silver Buffaloberry tolerates exposed coastal conditions and is useful for infertile, dry, alkaline soils. Thicket-forming, it is great for mass plantings and erosion control. Can be trimmed into a hedge or as a ravishing background plant.

  • Grows up to 6-12 ft. tall and wide (180-360 cm). Sometimes becomes nearly tree-like with a single or few short-trunked stems.
  • Performs best in neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soils in full sun or light shade. Thrives in moist areas near rivers where it often forms massive thickets, but tolerates poor, dry soils and is drought tolerant.
  • Great for the back of mixed borders, as an informal hedge, screen or windbreak or for erosion control.
  • Generally pest and disease free.
  • Requires little or no pruning. Remove diseased, damaged, congested or crossing shoots.
  • Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in the fall, or by greenwood cuttings in early summer
  • Native to the western United States and western Canada.

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Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 6
Heat Zones 1 – 6
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Spread 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, New York, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Matt Lavin, USDA NRCS Montana (Flickr)

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 3 – 6
Heat Zones 1 – 6
Plant Type Shrubs
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Spread 8' – 12' (240cm – 3.6m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, New York, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Hedges and Screens
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

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Shepherdia argentea (Silver Buffaloberry)

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