Sea buckthorn Harilik astelpaju Hippophae rhamnoides
Sea buckthorn plantations add colour along road verges.
The fruit of the sea buckthorn, a stone fruit or drupe, is oval, coloured yellow to orange. The fruits are attached to the branches with short stems (pedicels), strongly and tightly, and only grow on branches from the previous year.
They begin to ripen from mid-August. Harvesting is actually the most difficult part and requires time as well as patience.
It is worthwhile not to be late with the picking. The fruits will not drop from the shrubs but over-ripe berries get crushed between the picker’s fingers and lose their value.
The shrubs begin to yield fruits at three to four years old. From a mature, well cared-for shrub more than 10 kilos of berries can be gathered.
Birds come to look for only fully ripe berries and so are no competitors to picking at the right time.