Index | Search | Home | Table of Contents

link to pdf file

Lobatcheva, I.I., W. Letchamo, L. Huszar, S.A. Muchortov, N.N. Malkova, and E.I. Panteleeva. 2002. Evaluation of Siberian Sea Buckthorn Cultivars in Washington State. p. 402–404. In: J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.), Trends in new crops and new uses. ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

Evaluation of Siberian Sea Buckthorn Cultivars in Washington State*

I.I. Lobatcheva, W. Letchamo, L. Huszar, S.A. Muchortov, N.N. Malkova, and E.I. Panteleeva

*Herba Medica (Letchamo Naturals International) is acknowledged for supporting travel, transportation, and publication expenses during the study and preparation of this manuscript. Jules Janick and Anna Whipkey are acknowledged for the constructive suggestion and edition of the manuscript. Alex I. Shebalin of Biisk was instrumental in travel arrangements and guidance during the beginning of this work in Siberia.

There has been a growing interest in many countries to commercialize sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L, Elaeagnaceae) and its products. Although not a legume, roots of sea buckthorn (known as oblepiha in Russia) are host to the nitrogen-fixing symbiotic rhizobium (Ermakov 1985; Sidorovitch et al. 1991b). Roots, bark, and leaves contain essential oil, essential fatty acids, flavonoids, serotonin, polyphenols, minerals, amino acids, and other substances of interest to human health (Skuridin 1991; Solonenko et al. 1991; Panteleeva and Shishkin 1991; Garanovitch 1991). Some essential fatty acids have strong antioxidant activity (Yan and Liu 2000), which have received increasing attention for their ability to inhibit cancer and atherosclerosis (Visonneau 1997), the enhancement of immune function, and reduction of fat accumulation (letchamo and Lobatcheva 1997; Li et al. 1998; Houseknecht 1998). In Russia, a long time study been underway to develop cultivars of sea buckthorn adapted to extreme ecological conditions under different climatic zones of the former Soviet Republics (Bezschotov 1991; Sidorovitch et al. 1991a) and Eastern European countries. The present study was carried out to identify and introduce improved Russian cultivars to the United States.


In 1996, cuttings from five cultivars of sea buckthorn (‘Dar Katugne’, ‘Tchyskaja’, ‘Orangevaja’, ‘Maslitchnaja’, and ‘Tchuiskaja’ were introduced from the Altai region to Trout Lake (sandy loam soil of volcanic origin, pH 5.6) and White Salmon (alluvial soil, pH 5.5), Washington. The resulting plants were multiplied using cuttings and transplanted to the fields at the end of April, 1997. All the plants obtained standard agronomic practices, with additional irrigation during hot and dry summer seasons. Plant and fruit performance of each cultivar was closely monitored.

Yield data was evaluated after drying. Oil content and composition was evaluated immediately after the dried berries were extracted using hexane, and centrifugation under low temperature. The major experimental procedures included lipid extraction from berries, derivatization/transesterification and GC/MS analysis were based on methods developed by Yeong et al. (1989). Internal standard (heptadecanoic acid) was added into the extracted fats before derivatization. The purpose of the transesterification is to convert the high molecular nonvolatile triglycerides to the low molecular volatile fatty acid methyl esters. GC/MS techniques were employed to identify and quantify the essential fatty acids.


Results are present for the three most successful cultivars: ‘Dar Katugne’, ‘Orangevaja’, and ‘Tchuiskaja’. These cultivars established in the field quickly and reached 115 to 125 cm after four years (Table 1). Most of the morphological traits were similar to those observed in Siberia. Leaf and berry size and color and plant thorniness are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Traits of three sea buckthorn cultivars introduced from western Siberia (Altaiskii Krai, Russia) grown Washington State after five years of growth.

Cultivar Plant height
Leaf length
Leaf color Berry color Berry
Start date


Berry ripening
Dar Katugne 115 16 silver green red 46 thorny May 27 Sept. 25
Orangevaja 125 17 dark green yellow orange 67 thorny May 29 Sept. 28
Tchuiskaja 118 17 silver green orange 68 less thorny May 22 Sept. 22

Berry yield (Table 2) was about 25% less than obtained under Siberian growing conditions. However, oil percentage of the dried berries, total carotenoid content, and flavor was consistent with what was reported for plants grown under the western Siberian conditions. Sea buckthorn berries of some cultivars may have undesirable flavor or odor. In most European countries, attractive and high yielding sea buckthorn plants are grown for ornamental purposes but the flavor, oil, vitamins, and essential fatty acids content are unacceptable.

Table 2. Quality traits of three sea buckthorn cultivars introduced from western Siberia.

Cultivar Fresh yield
Berry size
Dry matter
Oil content
(% of dry berry)
(mg %)
Dar Katugne 3.56 28 31 27.6 25.6 acidic sweet
Orangevaja 5.05 26 39 38.9 35.8 orange like
Tchuiskaja 6.52 25 33 31.3 42.8 bitter sweet

Some important traits of the oil, including the composition of the essential fatty acids are presented in Table 3. There were significant differences in the acid values, saponification values, and the composition of the essential fatty acids among the three cultivars similar to those observed under Siberian conditions. Although differences in lipid composition between Washington grown and Siberian grown plants was not significant (data not presented), there was some shift in the ratio of each component. This might occur due the age of the plants. Our results indicate that cultivars of sea buckthorn selected in Siberia are adapted to US conditions.

Table 3. Oil characteristics and fatty acids content obtained from dried berries of oblepiha.

Cultivar Oil characteristics Fatty acid content (%)
C14 C16:0 C16:1 C17:0 C18:0 C18:1 C18:2 C18:3 C20 C22
Dar Katugne 4.6 124 trace 15.3 16.1 1.1 2.0 18.3 19.1 20.0 2.2 2.6
Orangevaja 13.8 118 0.1 25.5 24.0 1.2 1.2 16.2 16.5 14.8 0.2 ND
Tchuiskaja 16.5 146 trace 28.0 13.0 0.1 1.4 26.1 12.0 19.4 NDz ND

zND = not detected.