Belonging to the Elaeagnus genus (Autumn Olive, Goumi, Silverberry, Trebizond Date) Silverberry is part of a family consisting of shrubs and trees that produce fruits with remarkable qualities. They are high in vitamin A and E, bioactive compounds, minerals, flavonoids and proteins. Their lycopene content is the highest of any food and is being used in the prevention of heart disease and cancers and in the treatment of cancer. Cooking the fruit increases the lycopene content. The fruits and seeds are a good source of essential fatty acids as well which is very unusual for a fruit. The seeds are also edible although somewhat fibrous, and are especially high in proteins and fats. All of the Elaeagnus species are nitrogen fixers. They take nitrogen out of the air and put it into the ground through a symbiotic relationship with a bacteria that lives in their roots, thereby improving the fertility of the surrounding soils. The shrub species of Elaeagnus are sun or shade tolerant and can be interplanted with larger nut trees to their benefit. Young seedlings of Elaeagnus can be fairly thorny, very useful for a hedgerow. Older, mature plants and named varieties grown from cuttings have few if any thorns.
Plant availability by Season
Winter / Spring
Very ornamental evergreen shrub with striking yellow and green variegated leaves with silver undersides. Tasty, edible, red berries that ripen in spring instead of fall. Golden Silverberry would make a beautiful hedge. Grows to 6-8 ft. Zone 7-10.
This shrub is a highly ornamental cross between the Golden and Macrocarpa Silverberry. Broad evergreen leaves trimmed in gold. Great hedgerow potential. Very fragrant flowers in fall, winter or spring depending upon location. Followed by edible, nutritious fruits and seeds. Drought tolerant. Widely adapted to sun or shade, alkaline or acidic soil. Tolerates light frost, though heavy frost can affect fruit cropping depending upon when they are in bloom in your area.