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Elaeagnus commutata - Bernh. ex Rydb.
                 
Common Name Silverberry
Family Elaeagnaceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry calcareous slopes[43, 184].
Range N. America - Quebec to Alaska and south to Utah, S. Dakota and Minnesota..
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Elaeagnus commutata Silverberry


USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Elaeagnus commutata Silverberry
USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Elaeagnus commutata is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are 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: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms
E. argentea. non Moench.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Fruit;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 3, 43, 106]. Dry and mealy[11, 95, 172, 183]. Good when added to soups they also make an excellent jelly[183]. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent[K]. The fruit contains a single large seed[K]. Seed - raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous[K].
Medicinal Uses


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Cancer;  Salve;  VD.

A strong decoction of the bark, mixed with oil, has been used as a salve for children with frostbite[257]. A decoction of the roots, combined with sumac roots (Rhus spp.), has been used in the treatment of syphilis[257]. This medicine was considered to be very poisonous and, if you survived it, you were likely to become sterile[257]. 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[214].
Other Uses
Beads;  Fibre;  Hedge;  Hedge;  Soap.

Plants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, tolerating maritime exposure. They have a rather open habit, however, and so do not afford a lot of wind protection. Because they fix atmospheric nitrogen, they enrich the soil and so make a very good companion hedge in orchards etc[K]. The fibrous bark is used in weaving, it has been twisted to make strong ropes and has also been used to make blankets and clothing[99, 257]. Dried fruits are used as beads[99, 257]. The berries have been used to make a soap[257].
Cultivation details
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils that are well-drained[200], though it dislikes shallow chalk soils[98]. This last report conflicts rather with the record of its natural habitat, it should grow well on chalk[K]. Prefers a light sandy soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in poor and dry soils[11, 200]. Requires a position in full sun[11, 200]. Plants are very drought and wind resistant[1, 11, 200]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -40°c[184]. However, plants prefer a continental climate and are liable to be cut back in severe winters in Britain mainly because the wood is not fully ripened in our cooler summers. A moderately fast-growing plant[202]. The small flowers are deliciously scented[245]. This species does not normally require pruning but the plant can regenerate from very old wood and so can be cut back severely if required[202]. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their permanent positions as soon as possible[202]. 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%. Often confused with E. angustifolia even though it is very distinct[50]. Plants produce suckers quite freely, often sending them up at some distance from the plant[182, K]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200].
Propagation
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78]. It should germinate in late winter or early spring, 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. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 10 - 12cm with a heel, October/November in a frame[200]. The cuttings are rather slow and difficult to root, leave them for 12 months[113]. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months[78]. Division of suckers during the dormant season[3, 11]. The larger suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is probably best to pot up smaller suckers and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established.
Other Names
Gin'yo-gumi,
Found In
Alaska, Australia, Canada, North America, USA,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Elaeagnus angustifoliaOleaster, Russian olive42
Elaeagnus cordifolia 52
Elaeagnus formosana 22
Elaeagnus fragrans 22
Elaeagnus glabraGoat nipple42
Elaeagnus gonyanthes 22
Elaeagnus latifoliaBastard Oleaster32
Elaeagnus macrophylla 52
Elaeagnus maritima 22
Elaeagnus montana 22
Elaeagnus multifloraGoumi, Cherry silverberry52
Elaeagnus multiflora ovataGoumi52
Elaeagnus oldhamii 22
Elaeagnus orientalisTrebizond Date42
Elaeagnus parvifoliaAutumn olive42
Elaeagnus pungensElaeagnus, Thorny olive, Thorny Elaeagnus, Oleaster, Silverberry, Silverthorn, Pungent Elaeagnus52
Elaeagnus pyriformis 22
Elaeagnus thunbergii 22
Elaeagnus umbellataAutumn Olive42
Elaeagnus x ebbingeiElaeagnus52
Elaeagnus x reflexa 32
Elaeagnus yoshinoi 22
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Expert comment
 
Author
Bernh. ex Rydb.
Botanical References
1143200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
David G Sat Aug 12 2006
This species also has the common name "Wolf Willow" in Canada, and perhaps elsewhere. Note the height listed is low: this shrub/tree often reaches 5 metres.
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Subject : Elaeagnus commutata  

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