[nafex] E. pungens--winter hardiness
ramoyer at gmail.com
Tue Feb 21 13:23:32 EST 2012
Good to see you at VABF; thanks for your work to ensure fruit at SESE.
If you search this list archives (not oil change interval, perhaps a coon's
age) you will find previous discussions of E. pungens. I've observed it in
Zone 6 almost 20 yrs. Doesn't have March fruit every year, but a pleasure
in late winter when it does. Worth growing for the scent at bloom alone,
esp. unusual in its intensity, in the fall, and as a good bee plant then.
The most reliable fruiting specimen I know of is on a north slope, out in a
front yard away from the house, with a canopy of hardwood trees overhead.
The plant survived -14F. Likely there are selections to be made with more
cold-hardy fruit than average; that's what we're about here. Don't know
which microclimate would favor reliable fruit to eat in March, but it's
The Riverwalk in Augusta, GA (Zone 8), between the Savannah River and
Augusta Canal, has selections of these that bear edible fruit on and off
all winter. Worth exploring for the length of ripening season.
Grace and peace,
P.S. Dr. Parmer, this is E. pungens. Not E. umbellata, which blooms
spring/summer and fruits summer/fall here.
Does anyone grow silverberry in zone 6 or 7?
I am wondering how reliably they fruit, and when? My sister has some in
GA (zone 8), and they fruit in the middle of winter. No joke. Not a
huge amount of berries, but in the middle of winter, very welcome. I
just found some with nearly ripe berries here (central VA, zone 7), sure
to be ripe in March, but I am wondering if that is a fluke of this mild
winter or normal behavior for this plant.
Silverberry is an illeagnus, same family as autumn olive, goumi, and
seaberry. If they do get ripe this early, that would beat "honeyberries"
by a long shot.
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