Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Rosales > Elaeagnaceae > Shepherdia > Shepherdia canadensis

Shepherdia canadensis (russet buffalo-berry; russet buffaloberry)

Synonyms: Elaeagnus canadensis; Hippophae canadensis; Lepargyraea canadensis

Wikipedia Abstract

The Canada buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis), also known as russet buffaloberry, soopolallie, soapberry, or foamberry (Ktunaxa: kupaʔtiǂ), is one of a small number of shrubs of the genus Shepherdia bearing edible red berries. It is widespread across most of Canada (every province except Prince Edward Island plus all 3 territories) and the western and northern United States (including Alaska). One recognized form however bears yellow fruits. The berries have an extremely bitter taste.
View Wikipedia Record: Shepherdia canadensis


Height [2]  8.2 feet (2.5 m)
Screening - Summer [1]  Dense
Screening - Winter [1]  Moderate
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 0 Low Temperature: -65 F° (-53.9 C°) → -60 F° (-51.1 C°)
Light Preference [1]  Mixed Sun/Shade
Soil Acidity [1]  Neutral
Soil Fertility [1]  Infertile
Water Use [1]  Moderate
Flower Color [1]  Yellow
Foliage Color [1]  White-Gray
Fruit Color [1]  Yellow
Fall Conspicuous [1]  Yes
Flower Conspicuous [1]  Yes
Fruit Conspicuous [1]  Yes
Bloom Period [1]  Late Spring
Drought Tolerance [1]  High
Edible [2]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Fire Tolerance [1]  Medium
Flower Type [2]  Dioecious
Frost Free Days [1]  3 months 5 days
Fruit/Seed Abundance [1]  Medium
Fruit/Seed Begin [1]  Summer
Fruit/Seed End [1]  Fall
Growth Form [1]  Multiple Stem
Growth Period [1]  Spring, Summer
Growth Rate [1]  Rapid
Hazards [2]  The fruit contains low concentrations of saponins; Although toxic, these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking. Saponins are found in many plants, including several that are often used for food, such as certain beans. It is advisable not to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish;
Leaf Type [2]  Deciduous
Lifespan [1]  Perennial
Propagation [1]  Bare Root, Container, Seed
Root Depth [1]  24 inches (61 cm)
Seed Spread Rate [1]  Slow
Seed Vigor [1]  Medium
Seeds Per [1]  57563 / lb (126905 / kg)
Shape/Orientation [1]  Semi-Erect
Structure [2]  Shrub
Usage [2]  Because of its saponin content, the fruit is a potential soap substitute. It is macerated in water to extract the saponins; A decoction of the branches has been used as a hair tonic for dyeing and curling the hair; The branches were harvested in mid summer, broken up and boiled for 2 - 3 hours in water, until the liquid looked like brown coffee. The liquid was decanted off and bottled without further treatment - it would store for a long time without deterioration. To use, the decoction was rubbed into the hair which was simultaneously curled and dyed a brownish colour; The berries, the froth made from them, or a jelly of the fruit, have been eaten as an insect repellent; It was said that mosquitoes were far less likely to bite a person who had eaten the fruit;
Vegetative Spread Rate [1]  Rapid
View Plants For A Future Record : Shepherdia canadensis

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Algonquin Provincial Park IV 1868802 Ontario, Canada
Banff National Park II 1690912 Alberta, Canada
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area V 36286 Montana, Wyoming, United States
Bruce Peninsula National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Cape Breton Highlands National Park II 234333 Nova Scotia, Canada  
Cedar Breaks National Monument III 6111 Utah, United States
Coram Biosphere Reserve 7460 Montana, United States
Denali Biosphere Reserve 1932364 Alaska, United States
Elk Island National Park II 47171 Alberta, Canada
Forillon National Park II 61010 Quebec, Canada  
Fort Union Trading Post National Hist. Site National Historic Site III 24 Montana, United States
Fraser Biosphere Reserve 23050 Colorado, United States  
Georgian Bay Islands National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Ib 591068 Alaska, United States
Glacier National Park II 953799 Montana, United States
Grasslands National Park II 128635 Saskatchewan, Canada
Gros Morne National Park II 476632 Newfoundland, Canada
Isle Royale Biosphere Reserve Ib 571799 Michigan, United States
Ivvavik National Park II 2382752 Yukon, Canada
Jasper National Park II 2776809 Alberta, Canada
Kluane National Park and Reserve National Park Reserve II 5463436 Yukon, Canada
Kootenay National Park II 341762 British Columbia, Canada
Kouchibouguac National Park II 59161 New Brunswick, Canada
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve Ib 386679 Alaska, United States
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve II 20461 Quebec, Canada
Mount Revelstoke National Park Ia 18 British Columbia, Canada
Nahanni National Park Reserve II 1309627 Northwest Territories, Canada
Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve 470167 Ontario, Canada  
Noatak Biosphere Reserve 7500143 Alaska, United States  
Point Pelee National Park II 5764 Ontario, Canada
Polar Bear Provincial Park 5502026 Ontario, Canada
Prince Albert National Park II 976762 Saskatchewan, Canada
Pukaskwa National Park II 459860 Ontario, Canada
Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve 277252 Saskatchewan, Canada
Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve II 762028 Manitoba, Canada
Rocky Mountain Biosphere Reserve II 239938 Colorado, United States
Saint Lawrence Islands National Park II   Ontario, Canada
Terra Nova National Park IV 125894 Newfoundland, Canada
Tuktut Nogait National Park II 5761538 Northwest Territories, Canada
Vuntut National Park II 1076795 Yukon, Canada
Wapusk National Park II 2614324 Manitoba, Canada
Wind Cave National Park II 29471 South Dakota, United States
Winisk River Provincial Park II 434735 Ontario, Canada
Wood Buffalo National Park II 11038545 Alberta, Canada
Yellowstone Biosphere Reserve II 2196863 Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, United States
Yoho National Park II 317576 British Columbia, Canada



Adelges abietis (Aphid)[3]
Alces alces (moose)[4]
Andropolia contacta (Canadian Giant)[5]
Aseptis binotata (Rusty Shoulder Knot Moth)[5]
Autographa ampla (Large Looper Moth)[5]
Bonasa umbellus (Ruffed Grouse)[3]
Brachylomia algens[5]
Carterocephalus palaemon (Arctic skipper)[3]
Cervus elaphus (wapiti or elk)[4]
Euchlaena madusaria[5]
Euchlaena tigrinaria (Mottled Euchlaena)[5]
Iridopsis larvaria[5]
Itame brunneata[5]
Lithophane georgii[5]
Martes americana (American Marten)[6]
Mesothea incertata[5]
Odocoileus hemionus (mule deer)[4]
Oligia illocata (Wandering Brocade)[5]
Papestra cristifera[5]
Papestra quadrata[5]
Pero hubneraria[5]
Pero morrisonaria (Morrison's Pero)[5]
Phenacomys intermedius (western heather vole)[7]
Phenacomys ungava (eastern heather vole)[8]
Ursus americanus (black bear)[6]
Ursus arctos (Grizzly Bear)[3]
Xylena cineritia[5]
Xylena thoracica[5]


North America;



Attributes / relations provided by
1USDA Plants Database, U. S. Department of Agriculture
2Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
3Making The Forest And Tundra Wildlife Connection
4National Geographic Magazine - May 2016 - Yellowstone - The Carnivore Comeback
5HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
6Exploring the Denali Food Web, ParkWise, National Park Service
7Phenacomys intermedius, James A. McAllister and Robert S. Hoffman, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 305, pp. 1-8 (1988)
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access