Swamp Privet (Forestiera acuminata)

Botanical Name: Forestiera acuminata
Family  : Oleaceae
Genus : Forestiera
Synonyms : Adelia acuminata – Michx., Borya acuminata – (Michx.)Willd.
Common name: swamp privet.
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Species: F. acuminata

Synonyms  :Adelia acuminata. Borya acuminata.
Common Names: Swamp Privet, Eastern swampprivet

Habitat : South-eastern N. AmericaSouth Carolina to Florida, west to Texas and Kansas. It grows on  wet river banks, by ponds and swamps. Woodland Garden; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Description:
A decidious  Shrub or tree to 10 m (30 ft) tall. Crown open, irregular. Bark dark brown, ridged. Twigs light brown, slender with numerous lenticels, glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple, elliptical to oblong-ovate; 5-11 cm (2-4.5 in) long, 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) wide; acuminate at apex, serrulate above the middle, glabrous, occasional hairs on veins beneath, yellowish green above, paler beneath, petioles slender, slightly winged at base, cuneate at base. Flowers in fascicles, subtended by yellow bracts, very small in size; calyx ring narrow and somewhat lobed, petals absent; ovary ovoid with slender style, 2-lobed stigmata; stamens 4, filaments long and slender. Fruits drupes, ovoid to oblong, dark purple to black, about 8 mm (0.3 in) long, light brown, maturing in early Summer and promptly shed.
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It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from March to April, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant)
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in most soils. Plants rarely produce fruit in Britain.

Propagation
Seed – we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood, November to February in a frame or sheltered outdoor bed.

Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit.

The fruit is chewed. It is about 25mm long with a thin dry flesh surrounding a large seed.

Medicinal Uses: The Native American Houma drank the root and/or bark decoction as a health-giving beverage.

A decoction of the roots and bark has been taken as a ‘health beverage’.

Other Uses
Wood.

Wood – hard, strong, close-grained. The wood is soft, light and weak according to another report. It weighs 39lb per cubic foot. Used for turnery.
The fruits of swamp privet are considered good food for waterfowl.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Forestiera+acuminata
http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/shrub/fore-acc.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forestiera_acuminata
http://www.backyardnature.net/n/w/swampriv.htm

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