|Home Grown Tomatoes|
An All-Time Favorite
What’s that sweet scent in the air right now? It’s Elaeagnus.
Elaeagnus is one of my all-time favorite shrubs because it is so versatile in the landscape and because of its herbal value.
Elaeagnus, pronounced ee-lee-AG-nus, is a mostly evergreen shrub that can grow to a height of over 20 feet, if left unpruned. It has spotted green and silver leaves and branches reaching upwards toward the sun. If supported by other plantings, the branches of the elaeagnus will intertwine with them and climb to compete for light.
They have long thorns providing protection for birds and other small animals.
Elaeagnus produces a berry fruit in the spring that is quite tasty to me. Birds like them as well. The egg-shaped fruit is about ¾-inch long, has a large seed and the flesh matures to a red color with the texture and flavor of a wild plum. Though the flesh of the fruit is small compared to the pit, it can be made into a tasty jam.
In the Southern wild, there are several species. One of the most common is the Elaeagnus pungens.
Two cultivars derived from the E. pungens are common for landscaping. Elaeagnus ebbingei (E. x ebbingei) and Elaeagnus fruitlandii (E. x fruitlandii) are cultivated mostly for landscape plantings. They are used as hedgerows, privacy screens and to hide outdoor appliances and utility terminals. Along highways and city thoroughfares, elaeagnus are planted as sound barriers because of their dense foliage.
In the fall, elaeagnus blooms with less than showy flowers. But, Mother Nature makes sure you notice them, with their sweet fragrance you can smell from 20 yards away!
I hope you’ll consider planting some elaeagnus in your landscape, so you can enjoy Mother Nature’s signature fall scent.
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