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Russet buffaloberry is a versatile little shrub that can adapt to a variety of soil, moisture, and light conditions. It has neat little paired leathery leaves that turn from rusty to silver to green as they mature. As the summer peaks, it produces orange-red berries that are edible, and apparently used to make something called "Indian ice cream." I have not tried this so you're on your own there. 


Around here russet buffaloberry tends to grow in dry forest openings, but I've also seen it on exposed slopes and in shaded draws. Either way, it prefers well drained soil and at least a couple hours of full sun or very bright shade.


Fun factoid: this species has male and female individuals. You need both for a successful berry crop but only the females produce the berries. If I remember my statistics class, you should plant at least 3 to hedge your bets if you are looking for berries!


The shrub is a lovely garden component on its own though. I like it with ninebark and oceanspray. Mega bonus: deer don't seem to like it.




berry photo credit: Robert Flogaus-Faust, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

russet buffaloberry

Out of Stock
  • Shepherdia canadensis

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