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Hippophae is a genus of sea buckthorns, deciduous shrubs in the family Elaeagnaceae. The name sea buckthorn may be hyphenated to avoid confusion with the buckthorns (Rhamnus, family Rhamnaceae). It is also referred to as sandthorn, sallowthorn, or seaberry.

The shrubs reach 0.5–6 metres (1.6–19.7 ft) tall, rarely up to 10 metres (33 ft) in central Asia. The leaf arrangement can be alternate or opposite.

Common sea buckthorn has dense and stiff branches, and are very thorny. The leaves are a distinct pale silvery-green, lanceolate, 3–8 cm (1.2–3.1 in) long, and less than 7 mm (0.28 in) broad. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The male produces brownish flowers which produce wind-distributed pollen. The female plants produce orange berries 6–9 mm (0.24–0.35 in) in diameter, soft, juicy, and rich in oils. The roots distribute rapidly and extensively, providing a nonleguminous nitrogen fixation role in surrounding soils.

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