Elaegnus - Oleaster, Russian Olive, Silverberry
DESCRIPTION: This is a group of evergreen and deciduous trees or large shrubs commonly known as Oleasters. Oleasters make gorgeous lawn ornaments and are able to withstand city living. E. angustifolia, the Russian Olive, is a vigorous growing tree native to Asia and Europe. This tree usually has more than one trunk that eventually becomes gnarled and covered with dark brown, shaggy bark. This variety, when grown as a single-trunked tree, can grow up to 25 feet high. It can also be grown with multiple trunks or as a large shrub, ultimately reaching a height of 12 to 15 feet. The attractive, Willow-like foliage of the Russian Olive is pale silvery gray. Each slender leaf grows 11/2 to 31/2 inches long. In early summer, the stems are lined with small, fragrant bright yellow flowers. These are followed by edible, sweet, yellow, 1/2-inch berries that are devoured by birds. Multi-trunked trees are strong windbreaks for rugged climates. E. commutata (Silverberry), a native of North America, forms a shrub that grows up to 15 feet high. The Silverberry produces shimmery foliage and blossoms.
POTTING: These plants need full sun and will grow in almost any well drained soil; however, loamy soil is the best.
PROPAGATION: Seeds can be sown in pots of sandy soil set in a greenhouse, in the spring. Varieties can be increased by short cuttings of semi-ripe or firm shoots and set in a warm greenhouse or cold frame, in August. Grafting may also be done in the spring.
VARIETIES: (Suitable for growing in cool climates) E. angustifolia (Can be grown in all areas); E. commutata; E. multiflora; E.umbellata.
(Suitable for mild climates only) E. macrophylla; E. pungens & var. aurea, maculata, Simonii.
Go see DICTIONARY OF BOTANICAL NAMES.
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