Best and worthy Sea Buckthorn Varieties?

I have come across this “Ukraine Freedom” varities from lubera with a very appealing description. So far from what I have seen this one seems to be the best I have seen but not yet grown Sweet, thornless and short are the main points. Maybe there are better yet, please share if you know of some.

Here is the translated description and link:

  • almost completely thornless
  • the first really sweet type of sea buckthorn
  • compact growth with rich yield

The sea buckthorn variety ‘Ukraine Freedom’ ultimately contradicts almost every prejudice about sea buckthorn varieties and sea buckthorn fruits: the shrub, which is otherwise almost dangerous to the common, has become almost thornless and, above all, the sea buckthorn fruits definitely taste sweet. Who would have thought that possible, a really sweet type of sea buckthorn!..

Growth: upright compact, 2-3m, the upright, unbranched and almost completely thornless shoots are striking
Fertilization: Sea buckthorn is a dioecious plant species. The female fruit variety Ukranie Freedom absolutely needs a male fertilizer, the Pollmix variety. A fertilization waste can fertilize up to 10 female plants
Fruits: oval elongated, bright orange, weight almost 1g, 0.8-1g, elongated oval
Yield: high to very high, yield in the 2nd. Year after planting, a 6 to 7 year old shrub can bring a harvest of 13-16 kg
Harvest: one of the earliest varieties, late July
Flavor: definitely cute. With good sea buckthorn aroma, acidity noticeable, but far in the background
Ingredients: up to 10% total sugar, approx. 1% total acidity, oil 5-8g / 100g, carotene just under 20mg / 100g; Ascorbic acid 100-150mg / 100g

Imagine the combination of persimmon and Sea buckthorn fruits in the winter…


This plant should be named the Ukrainian war mascot.

I don’t get your joke if it is one… Either way I am not a fan of the name. but lets keep it on topic.


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Lubera is more hype than anything. Yes, trying to breed a superb red fleshed apple is a noble endeavour…but anybody can cross Gala and a red fleshed crab apple…(and be excited about the seedlings that results…just ask Skillcult that is on this forum).

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I can’t believe you answered to this…


Whoa! I have never heard of Lubera. I take it they suck? Like Bloomington, Illinois nursery type suck?

They are a bit overpriced comparatively but I would not say they suck.


The first time I learned of Sea Buckthorn was in Edible Landscaping by @MichaelJudd. I have not seen it discussed often on this forum, and I assume there is a reason for that.

THAT SAID, I know there are many other fruits out there that find their niche in culinary and medicinal use. I don’t know many people who enjoy biting into a lime or a lemon but both have their uses as an ingredient.

Similarly to Maypop, I bet Sea Buckthorn could be something good if breeding continues. If people tasted wild jujubes and apples and didn’t try to improve them, we wouldn’t have the huge amount of varieties available today. If I remember correctly Sea Buckthorn is a very low maintenance fruit, which in itself is worthwhile to consider.


The taste and oil content of sea buckthorn is pretty special. Nitrogen fixing is also a plus for sustainability aspect. I have seen difficulty of hand harvest being solved with a wire+tong homemade harvester. Nothing to complain about with sea buckthorn when it stays short, has few thorns and harvesting can be so easy. Also it stores well on the bush. Creamy texture of the liquid when juiced is also appealing.

If some more breeding can get even bigger fruits and fruits that fall off easily for machine harvest (if that doesnt already exist) that would be good enough I think, well I already seem to think it is worth my time though. I am growing a bit but obviously getting the best cultivars or finding them is one of the bigger challenges.

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I forgot about the nitrogen fixing aspect. Yes it would make a good addition to a forest garden in that aspect versus other nitrogen fixing options.

Also, I imagine it would be easy enough to graft a male branch onto female bushes for pollination instead of having a dedicated male bush.

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Sorry, I didn’t mean to say Lubera wasn’t any good. I was wondering if the nursery was why there was such vehement and negative comments from others. I take it that it has to do more with seaberries. I have 5 plants, but haven’t tried any of the berries yet, maybe this year. I have Orange Energy, Orange Glow, Titan, Orange Delight, and a dude from One Green World. I hope they taste okay? How do you use yours?

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Juiced with a countertop juicer. I imagine doing a mix of Apple/pear and Sea Buckthorn juice in the future when I have enough of those to rent a large scale juicer.

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That sounds good. I planted them because I was interested in the health benefits of the oils you mentioned, like vitamin E. I wonder how they would be dehydrated? Ever tried that?

This potential would probably give me encouragement to actually try one out. I don’t think I’ve seen it proper discussed anywhere, but feel like the hints are that its wind pollination need a bit of space to work properly and the need for thinning would ultimately see grafted branches removed either by the grower or by it’s natural tendency.

Uncharacteristically for me, I bought some juices made with it. Healthy or not, those selections have not offered me any encouragement to make space in my yard.

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What would you compare the juice to taste wise?

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Seaberry juice has hints of cantaloupe and a slightly fetid taste such as in pawpaw and sour cream. The main sensation is of extreme tartness.

I found that my seaberry juice blended well with orange, mango, and apricot juices/nectars.

The seaberry juice component of the blend was 2 cups seaberry juice to 5 cups water plus added sweeteners (sugar, stevia).

Stored seaberry juice will quickly separate into its oils and other components and needs to be thoroughly shaken or stirred before use.

It also makes a boldly flavored ice cream when used in those recipes as the main flavor and coloring.


I’ve grown seaberry for quite a few years now, but never gotten a crop. Some of my plants have failed to thrive because their roots are literally being eaten by something that stunts their growth. The ones that get lucky and don’t get their roots eaten still didn’t fruit, and I finally figured out it was because although my male tree released pollen over a seemingly very long period it was still done by the time the female flowers emerged. There needs to be more work done to evaluate bloom times and establish named male clones with documented bloom times so that the proper males can be selected for the chosen females.

I am currently trialing a new (to me) male clone called ‘Lord’ which is reputed to be thornless. I’ve had it for a year and so far no thorns, but it’s still VERY small because it was TINY when I purchased it from Richters. I hope it will end up having the right bloom time to pollinate my females. I also think it would be useful to use as a male parent in ongoing breeding efforts to encourage more development of thornless selections.

Edit: I just Googled ‘Lord’ seaberry and now am seeing multiple references to it being an early blooming selection. Nothing I read about it last year at the time of purchase indicated that would be the case so once again I may be lacking a male variety that blooms late enough to pollinate my females… I’ll hold onto a bit of hope until I’ve had it long enough to verify for myself though.


I used to eat them fresh off the bush, sour but good. Like a mix of strong orange juice and passion fruit (passiflora edulis).


I grew them and they failed to thrive. I’ve seen them in other locations go nuts, and I think they may prefer a more alkaline environment