The small genus Hippophae (Elaeagnaceae) was thoroughly revised by Rousi in 1971. Several systematic treatments have since then confused the concept. Recent reports from China have added new subspecies, taxa with possible hybrid origin, and invalidly published names. Phylogenetic work on morphology and molecular markers agrees to Rousi's view of terminal taxa and seven species are currently recognised. Hippophae rhamnoides is a highly variable species and circumscribes eight subspecies. Recent work also confirms hybrid origins of two Chinese taxa. The purpose of this paper is to present a taxonomic synopsis of the genus with all currently accepted taxa and known types, especially in a situation of growing economic interest in Hippophae. We also provide a key and a map of the generic distribution.