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Why does sea buckthorn have such a bright orange/ red color?

Sea buckthorn berries have become popular in the last decade due to their rich chemical composition. They are used in various spheres of life to help maintain and improve health. Unusual taste, smell, and appearance attract many fans of exotic. But why does sea buckthorn have such a unique vibrant color? In this article, we will look at the composition and origin features of this healthy berry.

Sea buckthorn taste and smell.

Sea buckthorn has a very specific taste. In ripe berries, it is sour with a little bitterness. Fruits nailed by freezing become sweetish-bitter. Some varieties have a bright sweetish note.

The scent of the fruit is a mixture of the freshness, sourness, and bitterness of a resinous tree. It has a quite acidic flavor. Many say that the scent of sea buckthornis similar to the scent of a Siberian pine forest during a rainy season. Honestly, we don’t know why but the smell is definitely interesting.

Composition and calorie content of sea buckthorn berries.

The chemical elements in the sea buckthorn make it possible to define it as a source of useful vitamins and minerals. Among them, there are a large number of irreplaceable water-soluble and insoluble substances necessary for the normal functioning of the body.

Sea buckthorn berries contain:

  • vitamins of groups B (B1, B2, B4, B5, B6, B9), A, C, K, E, PP, H;
  • alimentary fiber;
  • omega-3 and omega-6 - polyunsaturated acids;
  • saccharides - sucrose, glucose, fructose;
  • organic acids;
  • flavonoids;
  • phenolic compounds;
  • serotonin;
  • choline;
  • trace elements - aluminum, iron, vanadium, boron, lithium, iodine, copper, fluorine, chromium, zirconium, cobalt;
  • macro elements - sodium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphorus, silicon, potassium, sulfur, calcium.

How sea buckthorn grows.

The healing and vibrant berries of sea buckthorn first appeared in East Asia, like most medicinal plants. Later, shrubs and trees expanded their habitat, adapting to the territories of Greece, Italy, Europe, and Siberian Russia. Now the plant is found in the continental zone of the Northern Hemisphere as wild and cultivated, it can survive in high mountain regions up to 6900 ft. above sea level.

Sea buckthorn chooses sandy and pebble soils. It prefers the shores of water bodies or places with good moisture in the upper layer of the earth. It has a strong and branched root system, which helps to strengthen the soil from landslides, leaching, and weathering. Sea buckthorn plant used as an ornamental plant in gardens, parks, hedges.

Scientific theory about the origin of the bright color of sea buckthorn.

The theory that bright berries attract hungry birds has been around since the late 1800s. The researchers hypothesized that the colors of the fruit evolved to lure some animals, which then spread their seeds around the area. But the evidence for this theory was weak, since no animal, with the exception of primates, sees color in the same way as humans.

Researchers from the University of Ulm (Germany) have collected data on exactly how ultraviolet radiation is reflected from the fruits and leaves of 97 plant species around the world. The study also included some berries from Siberia, including sea buckthorn.

The science team found that the colors of the berries of related species have nothing to do with this relationship, which means that their color is independent of the genetic relationship. Scientists write that the fruits are mainly eaten by mammals (primates), which better perceive colors from the green part of the spectrum. Birds that prefer bright berries, on the other hand, notice red and orange colors faster, which are easier to spot in green foliage, including sea buckthorn bushes.

As you can see, the results of the study support the idea that it was the color perception of birds that contributed to the evolution of sea buckthorn flowers to bright orange.

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