Botanical Name: Elaeagnus cordifolia
Habitat: Elaeagnus cordifolia is native to east asia.It grows in Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedge.
Elaeagnus plants are deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small tree, growing to 4 m (13ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a medium rate.The leaves are alternate and the shoots are usually covered with tiny silvery to brownish scales, giving the plants a whitish to grey-brown colour from a distance. The flowers are small, with a four-lobed calyx and no petals; they are often fragrant.
It is not frost tender. It is in flower from October to November, and the seeds ripen in May. The oval fruit is up to 20mm long and 14mm wide, it contains a single large seed. Seeds are also edible, eaten – raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous.The oval fruit is up to 20mm long and 14mm wide, it contains a single large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous.The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Succeeds in most soils that are well-drained. Prefers a soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in poor soils and dry soils. Requires a lime-free soil. A very shade tolerant plant, it can be grown under other trees and will eventually climb up into them. Plants are not reliably hardy in the colder areas of the country. This species has a superb potential as a commercial fruit crop in temperate areas. It ripens its fruit in mid spring, well before any other fruit crops, yields are usually good to excellent and the fruit is of a good size with a reasonable flavour. Some research needs to be carried out to determine the best conditions for ensuring good yields every year and also the mechanism of fertilization. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby. An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%. The small flowers are deliciously scented, their aroma pervading the garden on calm days.
Through seeds – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate freely within 4 weeks, though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking more than 18 months. A warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold stratification can help. The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well. Prick out the seedlings into individual pot as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out when they are at least 15cm tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 – 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. It is best to take the cuttings in June. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, 10 – 12cm with a heel, November in a frame. Leave for 12 months. Fair to good percentage. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.
Fruits are edible, eaten – raw or cooked. The fruit must be fully ripe before it develops its full flavour, prior to that it is acid and somewhat astringent.
The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
Pants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, tolerating maritime exposure. They form a good wind-break, though they are somewhat slow to reach an effective size. They succeed when planted under trees that have become bare at the base, in time they will scramble up into the tree and fill out the bottom.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.