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ELAEAGNUS multiflora

Image of Elaeagnus multiflora

Michael Charters, www.calflora.net

Family

Elaeagnaceae

Botanical Name

ELAEAGNUS multiflora

Plant Common Name

Goumi

General Description

A native of the open woods and thickets of China, goumi is a variable species valued for its edible fruit as well as ornamental qualities. This large, flat-topped, densely-foliaged shrub or small tree has spreading branches with a pleasing look. It is fully deciduous and fixes atmospheric nitrogen into the soil.

The tough, fast-growing silverberries, or silverthorns, are irresistible to gardeners looking to fill large spaces fast. Most of these shrubby woody plants are grown for their interesting leaves which are covered with silvery scales. The elliptical leaves of goumi alternate on the stems and are silvery green. Small, fragrant, white flowers with brownish scales are produced in mid to late spring. These are followed by small, oblong berry-like drupes of red. The fruit and seed are edible and pleasant tasting. These summer fruits are also eaten and spread by birds.

Elaeagnus are some of the most durable shrubs and tolerant of most soil conditions as long as they are moderately well-drained. Full sun is preferred but shade is tolerated. Like most silverthorns, goumi is very salt, wind and pest resistant. This large plant generally needs plenty of room to grow and may require regular pruning to keep its long branches in check. It may be planted as a hedge, wind break or screen.

This species has begun to escape from cultivation in the eastern United States and is not recommended for planting in North America.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Width

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    Yes

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes