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Shepherdia argentia 1.jpg
Shepherdia argentea, western Nevada
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Shepherdia

See text

Shepherdia, commonly called buffaloberry[1] or bullberry, is a genus of small shrubs in the Elaeagnaceae family. The plants are native to northern and western North America.[2] They are non-legume nitrogen fixers.


The genus has three species:


The berry is recognizable by being a dark shade of red, with little white dots on them. They are rough to the touch, and are found on both trees and shrubs.


The plants have rather bitter-tasting berries. The fruit are often eaten by bears, which by legend, prefer the berries to maintain fat stores during hibernation.[4]

Buffaloberries are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the engrailed moth (recorded from S. canadensis) and Coleophora elaeagnisella.


Buffaloberries are edible by humans. They are quite sour, and afterwards leave the mouth a little dry. A touch of frost sweetens the berries. They can be made into jelly, jam, or syrup, soups, or prepared like cranberry sauce from berries.[4]


  1. ^ "Shepherdia". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Shepherdia Nutt.". USDA PLANTS . 
  3. ^ "Silver buffaloberry" (PDF). 
  4. ^ a b Elias, Professor, Thomas S. (1983). Edible Wild Plants A North American Field Guide (Digitized online by Google books). Peter A. Dykeman. Cengage Learning. pp. 9–28, 258. ISBN 0-442-22254-8. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 

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