Gardening sheet   shepheria argentea
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  • 1. *Silver buffaloberry – Shepherdia argentea (shep-HER-dee-uh ar-JEN-tee-uh) Family: Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family) Native to: Western North America from Canada to CA, AZ, NM. Locally on Mt. Pinos (Ventura Co,); along streams, river bottoms, slopes in a variety of plant communities including woodland, pinyon- juniper, grasslands, coastal sage scrub and riparian from about 3000-6000 ft. Growth characteristics: woody shrub/small tree mature height: 6-15 ft. mature width: 6-10 ft. Mound-shaped large shrub or small deciduous tree with spiny twigs. Bark is silver gray, peeling, attractive. Leaves are simple, elongated and silver-green, waxy. Somewhat like an Olive tree in appearance. Roots include deep and shallow roots. Plants will sucker from roots. Blooms/fruits: Blooms in spring – usually April-May. Plants are dioecious (separate male and female plants); need both sexes for fruit. Blooms appear before the leaves. Fruits are small (~ ¼ inch) red-brown or sometimes yellow, ripening in fall. Fruits are edible, and become sweeter after a frost. Mostly used cooked for jelly, syrup, beverages, sauces, etc. Uses in the garden: Makes a nice accent shrub or small tree. Excellent habitat or edible plant. Often used for hedgerows or windbreaks. Would make a nice background shrub. Important medicinal plant for Native Americans wherever it grows wild. Sensible substitute for: Non-native shrubs and small trees. Attracts: Excellent bird habitat: provides cover and fruits. Attracts many insects, including pollinator bees. Requirements: Element Requirement Sun Full sun to part-shade (hot gardens) Soil Adaptable; any local pH. Water Adaptable; Near-regular water to occasional (Water Zone 2 or 2-3). Fertilizer Probably fine with light fertilizer. Other Organic mulch fine in our climate. Management: Prune as needed/desired. Remove suckers as needed. Beware of thorns when pruning or picking fruits. Low maintenance plant. Propagation: from seed: fresh seed best; otherwise, 2-3 cold-moist by cuttings: yes; also suckers Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 8, 11, 13, 14, 28, 42 4/2/14 * not native to western Los Angeles County, but a CA native © Project SOUND