[nafex ibiblio list] Autumn Olive

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at bellsouth.net
Sun Jan 8 22:51:05 EST 2012

On 1/8/2012 6:08 PM, Michele Stanton wrote:
> I haven't heard anyone recently mention this, but Autumn olive is on the
> list of invasive plants for North Carolina, and for many other eastern
> states.  NC Botanical Garden, among other entities, recommends getting rid
> of them where possible.

I was born in Chapel Hill in 1939 and know the area well. It is 
certainly erroneous to be concerned about significant spread of eleagnus 
in the Piedmont Bioregion. It is too dry and for the most part has poor 
soil. As they spread by seed stands are slow to develop though birds and 
deer can help with this. They just grow too slow and have too much 
competition from other plants to really become invasive. Apex Nurseries 
sold the eleagnus varieties fruitlandi and angustifolia to landscapers. 
They are welcome additions to any yard, placed properly, especially if 
you are one who likes traditional english cottage gardens and it is 
ideal as part of an element in a permaculture system, aka landscape.

I can't help but think that the late William Lanier Hunt, a distant 
cousin of mine who donated the land the NCBT is on as well as that of 
the Hunt Arboretum, would have said about the "invasives" hysteria, 
"well, those folks are surely not plant nuts". He referred to certain 
accomplished horticulture colleagues he respected as "plant nuts".

> Ohio State did some taste-tests a few years ago of ice-cream syrups made
> from eleagnus fruit.  Tasters preferred strawberry, but autumn olive syrup
> was still pretty yummy imho.

Amazing. I will have to do a serious harvest of mine this year.


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