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Re: [nafex] Elaeagnus family (how to approach unknown plants)

There are at least 4 or 5 (probably lots more) varieties of Elaeagnus.  All,
I believe, share some similarities in culture (they are forgiving but tend
to like sun and ground that is not too wet).  Most of them are spring
blooming and fall fruiting.  One, E. pungens (thorny elaeagnus), blooms in
the fall and fruits in the early spring.  The fruits are a bit dry and mealy
and the reddish flesh is visible through a semi-translucent skin.  They are
sort of tart with a hint of sweetness (a slight hint).  E. pungens is the
only one I have personal experience with and it is a common evergreen
screening plant which can get quite large.  I have one in my yard (Atlanta,
GA-Zone 7) that I keep pruned back each summer but is still 10+ feet tall
and wide.  Not much bothers it (except poor sun exposure and constantly wet
soil).  Growth is rampant but the plant, if controlled, can be very
attractive.  Wildlife (birds, etc.) relish the fruit and it is probably best
left to them.  Most of the varieties of the family flower in the spring and
mature fruit in the fall.  The flowers of E. pungens are strongly fragrant
and similar to gardenias but more intense, if you can imagine it.  I don't
have any experience with the other varieties.  A good description of the
major varieties is in  the book MANUAL OF WOODY LANDSCAPE PLANTS by Michael
A. Dirr.  A hint:  E. pungens grows so rampantly that people use it as a
screening plant to cover unpleasant views.  Many people don't like it.
However, I like mine.
John Fears
----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert H." <lostman_amiga@yahoo.com>
To: <nafex@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, March 26, 2001 1:27 PM
Subject: [nafex] Elaeagnus family (how to approach unknown plants)

> I was looking around a nearby nursery the other day and found an nice
> looking shrub called "Elaeagnus" It looked similar to the Goumi.
> After just planting a small one the other day, I wondered about this
> plant.  The guy that was there did not know many details about the
> latin name, family nor if its edible, so I was just left wondering.
> Does anyone know if all Elaeagnus plants have edible berries?
> This brings up a larger issue for me.....
>   (Please note that I am a novice at all this plant exploration stuff)
> I have looked on the web for different variation of Elaeagnus, but
> havent found to much.
> If you all were in my same situation, what would you do with the
> plant?
> What methods would you use to invigate it's possiblities?
> Would this be a a good plant to try grafting to?
> Would it polinate the other plant?
> Just curious
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