If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Tropical Plants

Elaeagnus latifolia

L.

Elaeagnaceae


Elaeagnus latifolia, Elaeagnus conferta and Elaeagnos triflora are sometimes treated as three distinct species and sometimes as a single entity (under Elaeagnus latifolia). There is also disagreement over the range of the species, with Elaeagnus latifolia variously stated to be native to the Indian Continent or to continental southeast Asia[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
]. In this treatment the three are treated as distinct, following the Flora Malesiana[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].
Many taxa in this genus are separated only by quantitative characters, and better information on population variation is likely to lead to a significant reduction in the number of species recognized. Indeed, recent studies (Du, Fl. Yunnan. 12: 749-776. 2006) suggest that some species of Elaeagnus should be combined[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

+ Synonyms

Elaeagnus infundibularis Momiy.

Elaeagnus kologa ceylanica Servett.

Elaeagnus kologa grisebachii Servett.

Elaeagnus kologa macrophylla Servett.

Elaeagnus kologa wightii Servett.

Elaeagnus punctata Schltdl.

Elaeagnus rotundifolia Servett.

Elaeagnus thwaitesii Schltdl.

Common Name: Bastard Oleaster

Elaeagnus latifolia
Leaves of young, pot-grown plant
Photograph by: Raffi Kojian
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Elaeagnus latifolia Elaeagnus latifolia

General Information

Elaeagnus latifolia is a much branched, spreading, evergreen shrub that can grow up to 300cm tall. The stems are often thorny.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and sometimes as a medicine. It is often cultivated on a domestic scale and the fruits are sold in local markets.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

E. Asia - Pakistan, India.

Habitat

Swamps; at elevations up to 1,500 metres in the Himalayas[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
158
Title
Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur.
Publication
 
Author
Gupta. B. L.
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Press
Year
1945
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora for the middle Himalayan forests, sparsly illustrated. Not really for the casual reader.
]. Forest openings; at elevations from 1,500 - 2,600 metres in Nepal[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
Growth RateMedium
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Elaeagnus latifolia is a plant of the subtropical and warm temperate zones, though it can also be found at higher elevations in the tropics.
Succeeds in most soils that are well-drained[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in poor soils and in dry soils[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants can commence fruiting when around 2 years old[
1173
Title
Soh-Shang (Elaeagnus latifolia): An Under-utilized Fruit of North East Region needs Domestication
Publication
ENVIS Bulletin : Himalayan Ecology 16( 2), 2008
Author
R. K Patel; A. Singh; B.C. Deka
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
A brief article on the edible uses and potential for cultivation of Elaeagnus latifolia
].
Plants can yield 10 - 15 kilos of fruit annually[
1173
Title
Soh-Shang (Elaeagnus latifolia): An Under-utilized Fruit of North East Region needs Domestication
Publication
ENVIS Bulletin : Himalayan Ecology 16( 2), 2008
Author
R. K Patel; A. Singh; B.C. Deka
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
A brief article on the edible uses and potential for cultivation of Elaeagnus latifolia
].
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
88
Title
The Garden. Volume 112.
Publication
 
Author
RHS.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1987
ISBN
-
Description
Snippets of information from the magazine of the RHS. In particular, there are articles on plants that are resistant to honey fungus, oriental vegetables, Cimicifuga spp, Passiflora species and Cucurbits.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%.

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
]. Acid and somewhat astringent[
158
Title
Forest Flora of Chakrata, Dehra Dun and Saharanpur.
Publication
 
Author
Gupta. B. L.
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Press
Year
1945
ISBN
-
Description
A good flora for the middle Himalayan forests, sparsly illustrated. Not really for the casual reader.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
], it is mainly used in preserves, pies etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. Another report describes it as acid and pleasantly refreshing[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The fruit can range in size from 24 - 39mm long and 10 - 30mm wide[
1173
Title
Soh-Shang (Elaeagnus latifolia): An Under-utilized Fruit of North East Region needs Domestication
Publication
ENVIS Bulletin : Himalayan Ecology 16( 2), 2008
Author
R. K Patel; A. Singh; B.C. Deka
Publisher
 
Year
2008
ISBN
 
Description
A brief article on the edible uses and potential for cultivation of Elaeagnus latifolia
]; it contains a single large seed[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Seed - raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

The flowers are astringent and cardiac[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
243
Title
Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Dept. of Medicinal Plants. Nepal.
Year
1993
ISBN
-
Description
Terse details of the medicinal properties of Nepalese plants, including cultivated species and a few imported herbs.
].

The fruit is astringent[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
,
243
Title
Medicinal Plants of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
Dept. of Medicinal Plants. Nepal.
Year
1993
ISBN
-
Description
Terse details of the medicinal properties of Nepalese plants, including cultivated species and a few imported herbs.
].
The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers[
214
Title
The New Plantsman. Volume 1, 1994.
Publication
 
Author
Matthews. V.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1994
ISBN
1352-4186
Description
A quarterly magazine, it has articles on Himalayacalamus hookerianus, hardy Euphorbias and an excellent article on Hippophae spp.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%.

Other Uses

The wood is a good fuel[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. It should germinate within a few weeks, though it may take 18 months[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking more than 18 months. A warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold stratification can help[
98
Title
Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs.
Publication
 
Author
Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Very comprehensive guide to growing trees and shrubs from seed. Not for the casual reader.
]. (This information on stratification is probably not so appropriate to this species since it does not experience much frost in its native habitat[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]). The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pot as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out when they are at least 15cm tall.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 10 - 12cm with a heel, in a frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The cuttings are rather slow and difficult to root, leave them for 12 months[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
].
Layering takes 12 months[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.