There are a number of varieties of elaeagnus that are considered invasive – Russian Olive (Elaeagnus augustifolia) and Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) but this variety is not. It’s a nitrogen fixer whose fruit, depending on the cultivar, ranges from tart-sweet to sweet.
It’s almost impossible to find here in Canada but a number of nurseries in the US carry it but unfortunately do not ship to Canada because of the need to obtain a phytosanitary certificate.
I stumbled across someone in Missouri who was growing goumi and raved about how prolific her tree (above) was and the sweetness of its fruit.
So I asked her if she would send me some cuttings which she agreed to do. After a week in the postal system, they arrived in slightly less than fresh condition. I cut the eight cuttings she sent me in two, dipped them in rooting hormone, and put them in sterile seed starting mix in a mini-greenhouse.
By September, only one cutting had survived but it was showing roots!!!
I potted the seedling on September 8.
While it didn’t die, neither did it do anything. When we had the first killing frost, I decided to keep it inside under fluorescent lights.
A good decision, it seems as it has just sprouted a new leaf and all the buds are looking much fatter than they were two months ago.
I also stumbled across a seed seller, Trade Wind Fruits, so I ordered seed. I got one to germinate which is all that you need. It did quite well but I decided to over-winter it inside.
For a full set of pictures, go here.