Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Elaeagnus

A genus of 30 species of trees with one native to North America, the remainders of southern Europe and Asia. Most are evergreen but some are deciduous.
The fruits are edible and are also loved by birds.
They prefer full sun and light, fertile, well drained soil that is moist in summer.
Many species fix their own nitrogen, enabling them to thrive on poor soil.
Species can be propagated from seed sown upon ripening. The seed germinates better if soaked in hot water for 6 hours before sowing.
The cultivars can be propagated either from semi-hardwood cuttings taken in summer of soft tip cuttings taken in spring.

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Elaeagnus angustifolia ( Russian Olive )
A spreading, medium size deciduous tree that is a widespread native of Asia ( from southwest Russia to Mongolia; south to northern Pakistan to Afghanistan to northeast China ). It is also widely naturalized in central & eastern Europe. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 7 feet; 4 years - 20 feet; 20 years - 53 x 53 feet; largest on record - 75 x 80 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.5 feet; largest in Colorado - 73 x 60 x 3.5 feet in Denver; largest in Utah - 65 feet @ Salt Lake City; largest in South Dakota - 53 x 60 x 4.5 feet @ Black Hills Speedway; largest in North Dakota - 43 x 63 feet; longest lived - 75 years.
The alternate arranged, "willow-like", smooth edged, lance-shaped leaves are up to 4 x 1.5 inches in size. The foliage gray-green above, silvery-white beneath. The leaves on young plants are broad and hairy. The foliage persists late into autumn, often into December but does not turn significant color.
The sweetly fragrant yellowish flowers are borne small clusters in the leaf axils during late spring.
They are followed by sweet tasting, silvery-yellow fruit up to 0.5 inches across.
A few cultivars bred for improved food production have been developed.
The young twigs are whitish and hairy with short spines.
The bark is dark gray with paler lenticels on young trees becoming dark gray to red-brown and shredded on older trees.
Hardy zone 1 to 8 ( use hardiest seed source north of 4 ) in full sun on dry, light, well drained soil. Shorten brittle branches to prevent storm damage. Salt, drought, clay, urban, wind and pollution tolerant but hates high humidity. Russian Olive tolerates as hot as 110 F. Not generally prone to insect damage.
Young trees should be trained to a strong central leader and feathered with lower limbs gradually removed to get a tree of good form that can be walked under.
Prone to wilt fungus on wet soil.
Propagate from hardwood cuttings taken during winter or seed sown in autumn.

* photo taken in Harford County, MD on June 15 2010

* photo taken on August 4 2010 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on Aug 1 2013 in Goderich, Ontario

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook

* historic archive photo



subsp 'Caspica'
A striking form from the Caucasus with tapered leaves that are silvery on young growth.

'King Red'
Large burgundy fruit.

'Orientalis'
Spineless with wider leaves and large fruits.

Elaeagnus commutata ( Silverberry )
A profusely suckering, fast growing, large deciduous shrub native to the prairies of North America ( from central Alaska to central Yukon to Great Bear Lake, Northwest Territories to Great Slave Lake, N.W.T. to Lake Athabasca to York Factory, Manitoba to far northern Ontario; south to Washington State to northern Arizona to Colorado to South Dakota to western Minnesota and Rainy River, Ontario around the north shore of Lake Superior to Abitibi Canyon, Ontario to Moosonee, Ontario ). It has also naturalized in much of central & eastern Europe. Some records include: 10 years - 17 x 13 feet; largest on record - 17 x 17 feet. It is often planted for shelterbelts on the Great Plains and less often as an ornamental.
The oval leaves, up to 5 x 2 ( rarely over 3.5 ) inches in size, are silvery. The foliage persists late into autumn.
The very fragrant, yellow flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, are borne late spring to early summer.
The flowers attract honey bees to their nectar.
The oval, silvery-red fruits are up to 0.5 inches in length. The fruits are sweet but dry. They are useful for making preserves. The fruits attract birds.
The shoots are red-brown.
Hardy zones 1 to 6 in full sun on slightly alkaline, well drained soil. Tolerant of drought, alkaline soil and wind. The roots fix their own nitrogen. Propagaion is from semi-ripe cuttings, root cuttings or seed sown after 2 month stratification at 40 F.

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

Elaeagnus x ebbingei
A dense, fast growing, large, evergreen shrub that is the hybrid between Elaeagnus macrophylla & E. pungens. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 10 feet; 10 years - 17 x 17 feet; largest on record - 17 x 17 feet. It is often used for hedging and shelterbelts. Makes an excellent screen or informal hedge.
The leathery, oblong leaves, up to 6 x 2.5 ( rarely over 4 ) inches, are glossy deep green above, silvery below.
The very fragrant, creamy-white, urn-shaped flowers are borne during autumn.
They are followed in spring by orange-red berries that are fleckled silver
Hardy zone 6 to 9 ( protected site in 6 only ) in full sun to partial shade on deep fertile, well drained soil. Plants do not like to be disturbed once established so it is best to plant small.
Propagation is from semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer.

* photos taken on October 14 2010 in Crownsville, MD


* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Gilt Edge'
Deep green leaves with a wide, brilliant golden-yellow margin.

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA


* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Aug 15 2014 @ Rawlings Conservatory, Baltimore, MD


'Limelight'
Foliage is silvery at first, turning to golden-yellow with a broad bright green margin. Prune out any stems that revert to all green.

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Elaeagnus glabra
A wide sprawling to semi-climbing, thornless, vigorous, evergreen shrub with vining shoots reaching as much as 40 feet.
The narrow leaves, up to 3 inches in length, are deep green above and scaly brown beneath.
The fragrant flowers are borne in autumn.
They are followed by orange fruits that are flecked silver.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Elaeagnus macrophylla ( Bigleaf Elaeagnus )
A wide spreading large evergreen shrub native to Korea and much of Japan. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 23 x 13 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The broadly ovate leaves are up to 5.5 x 3.7 inches in size. The very tropical looking foliage is silvery at first, turning to very glossy green above, white beneath.
The very fragrant, silver flowers, up to 0.2 inches wide, are borne during mid to late autumn.
They are followed by scaly red berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9

* photo taken on May 5 2010 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Elaeagnus mollis ( Winefruit Elaeagnus )
An endangered tree native to shady slopes in central China. Some records include: 1 st year - 2 feet; largest on record - 60 x 45 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet.
The leaves, up to 4 x 2 inches, are white beneath.
The dark gray bark is deeply furrowed.

Elaeagnus multiflora ( Cherry Elaeagnus )
Also called Goumi. A fast growing, wide spreading, semi-evergreen large shrub to small tree native from eastern Russia to eastern China, Korea and most of Japan. Some records include: 10 years - 12 x 15 feet; largest on record - 33 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.7 feet. Long-lived, it is reported to persist as long as 500 years in its native range.
The smooth-edged, elliptical or oblong leaves are up to 4 x 1.5 inches in size. The foliage is deep green above, silvery-white below.
The fragrant, pale yellow flowers, up to 0.3 inches wide, are borne during mid to late spring.
They are followed by acidic, attractive deep red, oblong fruits, up to 0.8 inches, borne mid to late summer. Cherry Elaeagnus is self fertile. The fruits ( up to 10 pounds per plant per year ) are very good eaten fresh, used in preserves or dried. They are juicy and taste like pie cherries.
The bark is blackish-brown. The young shoots are red-brown.
Hardy zones 4 to 9.

* historic archive photo


'Gigantea'
Larger fruits

'Sweet Scarlet'
Very tasty large fruits.

Elaeagnus pungens ( Thorny Elaeagnus )
An extremely fast growing, dense, spreading, very large, evergreen shrub native to central and southern Japan. Some records include: 10 years - 17 x 17 feet; largest on record - 31 x 35 feet with a trunk diameter of 0.7 feet.
It is shearable and is commonly used for tall hedging especially near the sea since it is very tolerant of exposed windy conditions. It is fast growing, so shearing is frequently required on hedged plants. The main branches tend to be horizontal to the ground.
The leathery oval leaves are up to 5 x 1.7 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above; silvery-white beneath with brown glandular dots.
The very fragrant, creamy-white flowers, up to 0.3 inches wide, are borne in small clusters from the leaf nodes on young shoots during mid to late autumn.
They are followed by orange or red fruits, up to 0.6 inches long, that have silver-white spots. The fruits last through the winter.
The stems are often very spiny.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 in full sun to partial shade on deep, fertile, well drained soil.
It may drop leaves during severe winters but recovers quickly during spring.
Tolerant urban conditions, extreme heat, salt, salt spray and drought.
Old plants can be cut back hard, even to near ground level during very early spring.
Propagated from semi-ripe cuttings during summer, it often also self layers where branches touch the ground.

* historic archive photo


'Aurea'
Foliage has irregular bright yellow margins.

'Goldrim'
Glossy deep green foliage has vivid bright yellow margin.

'Hosubo Fukurin'
Reaches up to 6 x 4 feet in 5 years, eventually more.
The foliage is strikingly margined creamy-yellow.
The stems are tan color.
Hardy zones 6 + .

* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Maculata'
Bushy in habit, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 20 feet as a shrub, 30 feet as a vine with support.
Larger than average leaves, up to 5 x 2.3 inches, have a large yellow patch in the center of the leaf that is surrounded by a narrow deep green margin. The foliage is very glossy.

* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


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* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.




'Simonii'
Larger leaves, up to 4.5 inches in length, are green above, silver beneath.
It does not bear thorns.

'Variegata'
Foliage has a thin, creamy-yellow margin.

Elaeagnus reflexa
A vigorous, rambling, nearly thornless, evergreen shrub reaching up to 13 x 20 feet.
This is the hybrid between Euonymus glabra & E. pungens.
The leaves, up to 2.5 inches, are glossy deep green above, tomentose brown beneath.
The silvery-white flowers are borne during autumn.
The long branches are reddish-brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

Elaeagnus umbellata ( Autumn Olive )
a fast growing massive shrub to small tree native to Afghanistan, central to northeast China, Korea and most of Japan. Some records include: largest on record - 33 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.2 feet; largest in PA - 20 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.6 feet. In the first year; it can reach 1 foot from seed and 2.6 feet in height when grown from cutting. It has become an invasive weed along forest edges in parts of the eastern U.S. and Canada to as far north as Wiarton, Ontario.
The deciduous, wavy-edged, oblong leaves are up to 4 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is soft green above, silvery beneath; often turning to pale yellow during late autumn. The foliage appears early, Autumn Olive is often in full leaf as early as late March in Baltimore, Maryland.
The very fragrant, yellowish-white flowers, up to 0.5 inches across, are produced from late spring into early summer.
They are followed by abundant, small, round, silvery-bronze fruits, up to 0.5 inches during autumn.
The thorny new shoots are golden-brown.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade. It is very salt tolerant. Pest and disease free.

* photos taken on Aug 1 2011 in Luzerne Co, PA


* photos taken on June 12 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 19 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Mark A. Garland @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on May 3 2014 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Apr 22 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Oct 14 2015 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photos taken on Apr 14 2017 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD


'Cardinal'
text coming soon

* Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS.


'Ellagood'
Red fruits persist until February

* Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS.


'Redwing'
text coming soon

* Photos courtesy of USDA NRCS.

'Ruby'
Bears fruit as early as 2 years of age. Up to 50 pounds of very tasty ( fresh or juiced ), very large, brilliant red berries are very nutritious and help prevent cancer.

* photo of unknown internet source

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