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Elaeagnus macrophylla - Thunb.                
                 
Common Name
Family Elaeagnaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Thickets in lowland, especially near the sea[58, 184].
Range E. Asia - Japan, Korea.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Elaeagnus macrophylla is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Oct to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.


USDA hardiness zone : 6-9


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) 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.

Elaeagnus macrophylla


Elaeagnus macrophylla
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 177]. A very acceptable rich flavour when fully ripe, though it is somewhat astringent before then[K]. A potentially very valuable crop, ripening as it does in April and May[K]. We are not sure how reliable a crop it is though, some plants bear very heavy crops whilst others rarely bear fruit[K]. The fruit is up to 30mm long and contains a single large seed[K]. Seed - raw or cooked. A mild flavour, that has a hint of peanut, it can be eaten in quantity[K]. It can be eaten together with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous[K].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Cancer.

The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially 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[214].
Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge.

Plants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, they are very tolerant of maritime exposure[75, 200]. Reasonably fast-growing and providing a dense cover, it gives a very good protection from the wind[K]. Plants are very tolerant of regular trimming, they can also be cut back almost to the ground and will resprout from the base[K].
Cultivation details                                         
Succeeds in most soils that are well-drained[11, 200]. Prefers a soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in poor soils and in dry soils[11, 200]. Succeeds in sun or shade[11, 200]. Plants are very tolerant of maritime exposure[75]. This species is hardy to about -15°c[184], succeeding in the warmer counties of Britain. This is a plant with a very big potential as a commercial fruit crop. The fruit ripens outdoors in Britain in April, a season where traditionally there is no fresh fruit available. The fruit is of a reasonable size, has a very nice flavour when fully ripe and also has a fairly large edible seed[K]. Some research needs to be carried out in order to find the conditions that are necessary to ensure good crops - some plants fruit very heavily whilst others have very light or no crops[K]. This is the second of the evergreen Elaeagnus species to ripen in the spring, about a week or 10 days later than E. cordifolia[K]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200]. Plants can succumb to wind-rock in very wet seasons[75]. Plants are sometimes damaged by voles[75]. 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[200]. An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%. Allied to E. pungens and E. glabra[11]. The flowers are very aromatic[184], their aroma pervading the garden on calm days[K].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78]. It should germinate freely within 4 weeks, though it may take 18 months[K]. 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[98]. The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well[78]. 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[78]. It is best to take the cuttings in June[202]. 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[78]. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months[78].
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Thunb.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1158200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[11]Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
[58]Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation)
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
[75]Rosewarne experimental horticultural station. Shelter Trees and Hedges.
A small booklet packed with information on trees and shrubs for hedging and shelterbelts in exposed maritime areas.
[78]Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
[88]RHS. The Garden. Volume 112.
Snippets of information from the magazine of the RHS. In particular, there are articles on plants that are resistant to honey fungus, oriental vegetables, Cimicifuga spp, Passiflora species and Cucurbits.
[98]Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs.
Very comprehensive guide to growing trees and shrubs from seed. Not for the casual reader.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[177]Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption.
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
[184]Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs.
Excellent photographs and a terse description of 1900 species and cultivars.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[202]Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs.
Contains information on 2,000 species and cultivars, giving details of cultivation requirements. The text is terse but informative.
[214]Matthews. V. The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994.
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Himalayacalamus hookerianus, hardy Euphorbias and an excellent article on Hippophae spp.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Bob Hartley Tue Nov 7 2006
Can anyone suggest sources in the U.S. of E. macrophylla as plants, cuttings or seed?
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