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Elaeagnus umbellata - Thunb.
                 
Common Name Autumn Olive
Family Elaeagnaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards E. umbellata has the potential of becoming one of the most troublesome adventive shrubs in the central and eastern United States.
Habitats Thickets and thin woods in the lowland and hills[58].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Summary

Elaeagnus umbellata Autumn Olive


Elaeagnus umbellata Autumn Olive
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KENPEI
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Elaeagnus umbellata is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 4 m (13ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

Synonyms
E. crispa.

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

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 46, 105]. Juicy and pleasantly acid, they are tasty raw and can also be made into jams, preserves etc[160, 183, 194]. 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 about 8.3% sugars, 4.5% protein, 1% ash[194]. The vitamin C content is about 12mg per 100g[194]. Mature bushes in the wild yield about 650g of fruit over 2 - 3 pickings[194]. The harvested fruit stores for about 15 days at room temperature[194]. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter[200] and contains a single large seed[K]. Seed - raw or cooked[194]. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous[160].
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.

Astringent;  Cancer;  Cardiac;  Pectoral;  Stimulant.

The flowers are astringent, cardiac and stimulant[240]. The seeds are used as a stimulant in the treatment of coughs[240]. The expressed oil from the seeds is used in the treatment of pulmonary affections[240]. 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
Fuel;  Hedge;  Hedge.

Very tolerant of maritime exposure, it makes a good informal hedge, succeeding even in very exposed positions[75]. The plants make a reasonable wind-protecting screen, they are about as wide as they are tall. They make a good companion hedge, enriching the soil and fertilizing neighbouring plants[K]. The wood is a good fuel[146].
Cultivation details
Succeeds in most soils that are well-drained[11, 200], though it dislikes shallow chalk soils[98]. It prefers a soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in very poor soils and in dry soils[11, 200]. Prefers a light sandy loam and a sunny position[11]. Established plants are very drought resistant[1]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -40°c[200]. This species is somewhat similar to E. multiflora, but it flowers a few weeks later[182]. Sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties[183]. 'Cardinal' and 'Red Wing' are very good fruiting forms (developed for ornament and not for fruit quality)[182]. 'Jazbo' has been bred for its edible fruits which are said to be ripe when 'they drop into your hand'[214]. This makes them valuable in breeding programmes to develop easily harvested fruits[214]. Flowers are rich in nectar and very aromatic, they are much visited by bees. Polymorphic[11, 275]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200]. Plants can fruit in 6 years from seed[160]. 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[160, 200]. An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%.
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. Good percentage[78]. 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].
Other Names
Found In
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 commutataSilverberry32
Elaeagnus cordifolia 52
Elaeagnus formosana 22
Elaeagnus fragrans 22
Elaeagnus glabra 42
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 x ebbingeiElaeagnus52
Elaeagnus x reflexa 32
Elaeagnus yoshinoi 22
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Expert comment
 
Author
Thunb.
Botanical References
1158200
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Jim Watkins Sun Aug 20 2006
Sorry, you have it backwards. Many people do this. If the fruit is red its Autumn Olive. Russian Olive is Elaeagnus Angustifolia. It has yellow flowers and yellow fruit.
Elizabeth H.
Jonathan Kohrman Sun Apr 22 2007
WE have several elaeagnus umbelata grown from small bareroot plants. After only three years they are getting very large, great handsome plants. Last summer they were all covered in berries. Once they turned deep red they were delicious, like sweet sour cherries or even pomegranate seeds. Our children (and we) loved them and would pop great big handfuls in our mouths. They hung on the bushes and stayed fresh for well over a month. Great fun! We are in zone 5 Western Massachusetts.
Elizabeth H.
Kevin Feinstein Mon Sep 3 2007
This plant is amazing! It's considered to be invasive in many parts of the United States, although I believe this label arises out of misunderstanding. It's a pioneer plant, and offers such an amazing food source, containing Omega 3 fatty acids! If it were a tropical species, I believe it would be marketed as a gourmet health food, or superfood. Instead, the economies of the more "developed" world make their income from this Elaeagnus by spraying poisons to eliminate it. I also find it interesting that it's considered invasive at all because I can't get any of the seeds to germinate.

feralkevin video and commentary from the emerging sustainable culture

Elizabeth H.
Stewart Forrester Sat Sep 8 2007

USDA Agricultural Research Site Researchers have analyzed these berries and found very high lycopene content-averaging between 15 and 54 mg per 100 g of the fruit.

Elizabeth H.
Mark Tue Sep 18 2007
I have 4 of these trees/bushs(?) and I the deer and the birds find them delicious. I live in Rhode Island and am now trying to make Mead out of the berries. I am also considering introduceing them to an edge along a new construction that has cut off the deer from my property :( I have no problems with them spreading like weeds and they don't have any thorns or tendrils. So I am unclear on what exact species I have. Here they are refered to as Deer Berries. Which is one reason it has taken me a year to find out what they actually are. This is a great picture of what my plants look like. http://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/e/elaumb/elaumb07.jpg http://www.missouriplants.com/Whitealt/Elaeagnus_umbellata_page.html http://www.fw.vt.edu/DENDRO/dendrology/syllabus/factsheet.cfm?ID=269 I will be trimming one of these to tree shape and see how it does next year. At the moment it droops to ground when bearing fruit. Rhode Island 2 inches soil sand underneath. Grows healthey and none invasive. Approx 15ft tall 13 ft wide. Refered to as:Deer Berry, DeerBerry,Deer Berries, DeerBerries
Elizabeth H.
Rob Thu Dec 6 2007
I am wondering about using autumn olive as a animal forage (goat). Has anyone tried this?
Elizabeth H.
Mon Dec 8 2008
how did the elaeagnus umbellate come to new england
Elizabeth H.
Scott DiLoreto Sat Feb 14 2009
Is anyone out there aware of any active autumn olive breeding efforts, either for human food or forage purposes? Thanks
Elizabeth H.
Robert Gergulics Sat Apr 11 2009

www.photorobg.com

Elizabeth H.
Fri Dec 4 2009
What date did Elaeagnus Umbellate (Autumn Olive) arive in New England?
Tibi D.
Sep 26 2011 12:00AM
Eleagnus Umbellata grows very fast here in Pacific Northwest. My 3 year old plants are already more than 4m tall. The problem with my 2 bushes is that they have not produced any fruit yet. I also have Goumi and it produced fruit when it was one year old.
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Subject : Elaeagnus umbellata  

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