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Shepherdia canadensis (L.) Nutt.

Photo: Shepherdia canadensis

Canada Buffaloberry

Habitat: Calcareous rocks and banks [Non-tidal rivershore (non-forested, seasonally wet)]

Range: Newfoundland to Alaska, south to central Maine, west to northern Minnesota, South Dakota, and New Mexico.

Aids to Identification: This opposite-leaved shrub grows 1-3 meters tall. Leaves are ovate to lanceolate, 3-7 cm in length, and covered with small, silver or rust-colored scales. The greenish-yellow flowers grow in small clusters. Its fruits are berry-like, 6-9 mm in length, and red or yellow in color.

Photo: Shepherdia canadensis

Ecological characteristics: The only known occurrence of this species in Maine is from a very steep riverbank cliff.

Phenology: Flowers April - May, with the appearance of the leaves.

Family: Elaeagnaceae

Synonyms: Formerly known as Elaeagnus canadensis (L.) A. Nels., Hippophae canadensis L., and Lepargyrea canadensis (L.) Greene.

Photo: Shepherdia canadensis

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Somerset.

Dates of documented observations are: 1892, 1976, 1980, 1991, 1992, 2000

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range; calcareous habitat naturally scarce.

Conservation considerations: The one Maine population apparently consists of a single individual that has persisted in the same spot for decades.