“What you will not meet in the Siberian taiga, by the way, which makes up more than 50 percent of the forests of our Motherland! Even your own, Siberian pineapple is here.
Few people will be attracted in early spring by a tall two-five-meter shrub or small tree with knotted branches densely covered with sharp thorns. Yes, and in early summer, except that narrow long leaves with an unusual silver color attract attention to this plant. Even at the time of flowering (end of April - beginning of May), a person will not hold his eyes on its plain green-yellow flowers. But from the end of summer until late autumn, its long annual shoots are completely covered with small bright orange fruits that remain on them almost all winter. That's why they called this plant sea buckthorn. At this time, it is unlikely that anyone will pass by her indifferently, and at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy of the USSR in Moscow, no less inquisitive visitors crowd near the sea-buckthorn than any other cybernetic exhibit. It grows here no worse than in natural conditions.
Sea buckthorn is common in the Baltic states, Moldova, the Black Sea region, the Caucasus and Central Asia, but Siberia can be considered its true homeland. It is here that it is possible to see sea buckthorn forests (unfortunately, they are often not economically exploited). From here her glory went all over the country.
The Siberians have long loved its unusual fruits and proudly call them Siberian pineapples. True, in terms of size, the fruits of sea-buckthorn cannot be compared with pineapples, but they are not inferior to them either in aroma, or in taste, or in nutritional and especially medicinal qualities.
“The fruits of our sea buckthorn are unparalleled,” say the Siberians. Maybe this is some exaggeration, but even in the old days the hospitable residents of Siberia amazed visitors with surprisingly tasty, fragrant sea-buckthorn jelly, jam, jam, tinctures and liquors. Modern researchers have also recognized the exceptional nutritional qualities of sea buckthorn and its vital healing properties. Not to mention the high content of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A), which are often found in other plants, sea buckthorn fruits also contain vitamins B1, B2, as well as a particularly rare vitamin E, which enhances the activity of endocrine glands and regulates the metabolism in the skin . The usefulness of the fruits of sea buckthorn is also increased by the significant amount of glucose, fructose, food pectins, nitrogenous and tannins in them. Vitamin C in the fruits of sea buckthorn is characterized by increased resistance and is well preserved even during cooking and drying.
Finally, sea buckthorn oil is highly valued, which accumulates in fruit pulp up to 8 percent. It is to him that the sea-buckthorn fruits owe their bright orange or yellowish color and a delicate pineapple aroma. The oil also contains substances with high healing properties. The sea buckthorn oil was recommended by the Scientific Council of the USSR Ministry of Health for the treatment of a number of diseases: non-healing and postoperative wounds, burns, frostbite. In folk, in particular ancient Mongolian and Tibetan medicine, the fruits and leaves of sea buckthorn were widely used in the treatment of rheumatism, diseases of the stomach and skin. The healing properties of young sea buckthorn branches and leaves were used in Ancient Greece: they treated not only people, but also war horses.
Fruits reach full maturity in September. They do not fall for a long time and remain on branches until the beginning of spring, only gradually losing their brightness; wintering birds with great pleasure ate them. Sea buckthorn seeds are very small - about 80 thousand per kilogram. They are sown in autumn at low temperature (stratification).
Sea buckthorn is one of the most common plants in our country. Only in Altai, it occupies about 10 thousand hectares, and in the whole country hundreds of thousands of hectares. Thousands of tons of sea-buckthorn fruits come from Siberian forests. It is a pity that their collection and use is not always well organized; we still take care of this extremely modest, but surprisingly useful plant. We have not said anything yet about its melliferousness, about the hard, small-layer, yellowish wood used in turning.
Sea buckthorn is not afraid of either severe Siberian frosts or prolonged droughts in the south of our country. She feels good on different soils and even on loose sands. Thanks to the ability to easily grow to the sides with root suckers, it perfectly fixes steep slopes, slopes of highways and railways, and prevents the mobility of loose sands. As a plant with nodule bacteria on its roots, it enriches the soil with nitrogen.
Biologically, sea buckthorn is akin to many dioecious plants, as it has male and female individuals. When cultivating sea buckthorn, one male should be planted on eight to nine female specimens. And it is worth cultivating.
Links to materials:
- S. I. Ivchenko - Book about trees