Elaeagnus umbellata

11 Nov

Elaeagnus umbellata (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Elaeagnus umbellata (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade  

Soil: Moist, well drained

Flowering period: Spring (occasionally autumn)

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 5m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Elaegnaceae

Elaeagnus umbellata Flower (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Elaeagnus umbellata Flower (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Elaeagnus umbellata is an deciduous shrub with a bushy habit. Its dark green leaves are elliptic with entire wavy margins, up t 10cm long and 4cm across. Its leaves and stems are covered in small silvery scales during spring, these wear off in the summer months. Its spur branches produce sharp thorns. Its pale yellow/ white hermaphrodite flowers are strongly scented, up to 1cm long and appear in axial clusters of up to 7. Its red fruit are a drupe which are up to 8mm long.

Elaeagnus umbellata, commonly known as Japanese Silverberry, Umbellata Oleaster, Autumn Elaeagnus or Autumn Olive, is native to east Asia including China, Korea and Japan. In its native habitat it grows in dry exposed places. This plant harbors nitrogen fixing bacteria in its roots enabling it to thrive in impoverished soils. This plant is considered an invasive species in parts of North America.

Elaeagnus umbellata Leaf (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Elaeagnus umbellata Leaf (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Elaeagnus is derived from the Greek elaia ‘olive’ and agnos ‘pure’ possibly referring to the fruit. Umbellata is derived from the Latin umbella meaning ‘parasol’.

The landscape architect may find Elaeagnus umbellata useful as a windbreak hedging species. It is suitable for maritime planting and tolerates harsh winds. Once established this plant is drought tolerant.

Elaeagnus umbellata Fruit (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Elaeagnus umbellata Fruit (08/11/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically,  Elaeagnus umbellata flowers are attractive to pollinating insects including bees.Its fruit are attractive to birds and mammals (including humans).

Elaeagnus umbellata prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will tolerate infertile soils.

Elaeagnus umbellata requires little maintenance.


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One Response to “Elaeagnus umbellata”

  1. Looks good. I’d like to have one near my block of flats.

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