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Sea-Buckthorn - Invasive Species Information

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Reproduction: Sea-Buckthorn is dioecious (separate sexes on individual plants Male and female). The plant is dependent on wind to spread pollen from the male flowers. Germination is epigeal and the seeds exhibit a certain degree of dormancy, normally seasonally activated. Repoduction can also occur via the root system.

Sea-Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides Fruit

Sea-Buckthorn Fruit

Native to China, Sea-buckthorn is a dense and thorny deciduous shrub or small tree.  Grows from 1 metre to 10 metres tall.  It has tiny, green, petalless flowers which bloom in March and April with male and female flowers appearing on separate bushes. 


The leaves are narrow, lanceolate and alternate and are covered with tiny silvery scales giving them a greyish appearance.  The bush has stout spines and in autumn bright orange-yellow berries (7mm across) are borne on the female plants.

How To Identify Sea-Buckthorn?

Stem: Spiney

Leaves: silvery green leaf Narrow, lanceolate and alternate

Flowers: Green, petalless flowers each having 4 stamens

Berries: bright orange-yellow

Sea-Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides on sand dune
Sea-Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides stem and flower
Sea-Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides ID Guide

Sea-Buckthorn - Hippophae rhamnoides ID Guide

Sea-Buckthorn Stand

Stem & Flowers

Why Is Sea-Buckthorn A Problem?

Poses a threat to native vegetation of sand dunes.
The effect of the species relate to its shading-out of native dune plants and production of floristically-poor dense thickets.


Thickets completely alter the character of the local dune habitat, species composition, and the nutrient status of the soil where it grows.


This has direct effects on the composition and balance of the invertebrate fauna.

What Is Sea-Buckthorn - (Hippophae rhamnoides)?

Habitat: Terrestrial, sea-shores and cliffs
Distribution in Ireland: Costal distribution, abundant in some places.

Status: Established
Family name: Elaeagnaceae

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...


Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50.

  1. American Skunk-CabbageLysichiton americanus

  2. Brazilian Giant-RhubarbGunnera manicata

  3. Broad-Leaved RushJuncus planifolius

  4. Cape PondweedAponogeton distachyos

  5. Cord-GrassesSpartina (all species and hybrids)

  6. Curly Waterweed - Lagarosiphon major

  7. Dwarf Eel-GrassZostera japonica

  8. FanwortCabomba caroliniana

  9. Floating PennywortHydrocotyle ranunculoides

  10. Fringed Water-LilyNymphoides peltata

  11. Giant HogweedHeracleum mantegazzianum

  12. Giant KnotweedFallopia sachalinensis

  13. Giant-RhubarbGunnera tinctoria

  14. Giant SalviniaSalvinia molesta

  15. Himalayan BalsamImpatiens glandulifera

  16. Himalayan KnotweedPersicaria wallichii

  17. Hottentot-FigCarpobrotus edulis

  18. Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica

  19. Large-Flowered WaterweedEgeria densa

  20. Mile-a-Minute WeedPersicaria perfoliata

  21. New Zealand PigmyweedCrassula helmsii

  22. Parrots FeatherMyriophyllum aquaticum

  23. Red AlgaGrateloupia doryphora

  24. RhododendronRhododendron ponticum

  25. SalmonberryRubus spectabilis

  26. Sea-Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides

  27. Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica

  28. Three-Cornered LeekAllium triquetrum

  29. WakameUndaria pinnatifida

  30. Water ChestnutTrapa natans

  31. Water FernAzolla filiculoides

  32. Water LettucePistia stratiotes

  33. Water-PrimroseLudwigia (all species)

  34. WaterweedsElodea (all species)

  35. WireweedSargassum muticum

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