Silver Buffaloberry

photo by Johnida Dockens CC BY-NC-ND

Bull Berry, Thorny Buffaloberry

Silver Buffaloberry (shepherdia argentea) is a thorny shrub (3-20 ft) with silvery-green leaves. The small yellow flowers bloom close to the stem and are inconspicuous. The clusters of red berries ripen in late summer. The shrub is often found growing along rivers and streams, especially on the northern Great Plains. It's slow to lose its leaves in autumn.

Could it be? Canada or Russet Buffaloberry (shepherdia canadensis) looks very similar to Silver Buffaloberry but has no thorns and less silvery hair on the leaves. Wolf-willow is also similar in appearance but has silvery berries and no thorns. Sea Buckthorn has light orange berries and long, narrow green leaves.

Did you know? Silver Buffaloberry provides shelter and nesting sites for many birds. The berries are a favorite food of many songbirds and Sharp-tailed Grouse.

See Also: Wild Strawberry, Bearberry, Blackberry, Chokecherry, Elderberry, Highbush Cranberry, Huckleberry, Oregon Grape, Saskatoon Berry, Snowberry, Thimbleberry