|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Elaeagnus (ancient Greek name, meaning a kind of willow; from elaios, olive). Eleagnaceae. Shrubs and small trees, grown chiefly for their handsome foliage and for their ornamental fruits, edible in a few species.
Deciduous or evergreen, sometimes spiny: lvs. alternate, short-petioled, entire, clothed more or less with silvery or brownish scales: fls. axillary, solitary or in clusters, apetalous, perfect; perianth campanulate or tubular, 4-lobed; stamens 4, included, on very short filaments: fr. a 1-seeded drupe.—About 40 species in S. Eu., Asia and N. Amer. Monograph by Servettaz in Bot. Centralblatt, Beihefte 25, pt. 2:1-128 (1908).
These are highly ornamental shrubs with handsome foliage and mostly decorative fruits; the flowers are inconspicuous, but mostly fragrant. Some of the deciduous species, as E. argentea, E. multiflora and E. umbellata, are hardy North, while the evergreen ones are hardy only South. A distinct feature of some species, as E. argentea, E. angustifolia and E. parvifolia, is the conspicuous silvery hue of their foliage, while E. multiflora and E. umbellata are the most ornamental in fruit.
They grow in almost any well-drained soil, including limestone, and prefer sunny position. Propagation is by seeds which do not germinate until the second year and ought to be stratified and sown the second spring, and by cuttings of mature and half-ripened wood; also sometimes increased by layers and by root-cuttings; varieties and rarer kinds can be grafted on seedlings of vigorous-growing species.
E. ferruginea, A. Rich. Spineless evergreen shrub, with spreading brown branches: Lvs. with yellowish and brown scales beneath: perianth with quadrangular, abruptly contracted tube: fr. lone- stalked. Japan. —E. glabra, Thunbg. Spineless evergreen shrub. with brown branches: Lvs. shining above, with yellow and brown scales beneath: perianth with slender, tubular tube, gradually narrowed toward the base, twice as long as the limb: fr. Short stalked. Japan.- S.I.F.2:54. Alfred Rehder. CH
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963