Oleaster (Elaeagnus x ebbingei) - pollinators, and growing tips for berries

Hi all

We have a row of Oleaster (Elaeagnus x ebbingei) at the front of our garden which we planted last year. We chose it to give us some privacy from the road, but also because the berries of this hedge are apparently edible. However, we have since read that to get fruit it needs to have a different variety close by for pollination.

I wondered if anyone knows which varieties would be a most suitable pollinator?

Also, has anyone here who has grown this for the berries got any other tips? We fed and looked after the hedge well after planting, but have since learnt that they fruit better when not fed and not looked after! (Sounds ideal!)

Any thoughts, stories, or words of wisdom would be most welcomed.

Many thanks


Elaeagnus x ebbingei is Ebbing’s Elaeangus. It has been in the U.S. nursery trade for perhaps a century. For example, it is listed in my parents Western Garden Book from the mid-1900’s. The plant has a very interesting history going back to Botanical Merchant ships during the era of asian and new world exploration by Europeans.

Oleaster may refer to Elaeagnus latifolia or sometimes Elaeagnus angustifolia a.k.a Russian Olive.

True Ebbing’s Elaeangus is self fertile. I have grown and fruited it in southern CA, zones 9a and 9b. My experience is the fruit pulp layer is relatively thin. This might be due to its propagation in the nursery trade as an ornamental plant. However this is no issue if you are going to make jam: simply put them whole in a stock pot of boiling water then strain out the seeds after they separate from the skin and pulp.

I think that is B.S. from greedy plant sellers.

Autumn olive, silverberry would likely be a pollinator.

In the U.S. what nurseries label silverberry is usually Elaeagnus x ebbingei.

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Goumi…I don’t like the taste. About like eating a green banana with mild chili powder sprinkled on it.

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Goumis tastes a lot like cranberry to me… They must be picked when totally ripe and soft, or they will be astringent. I enjoy munching on them while working in the yard.

Goumi is like that unless perfectly ripe. at which point the birds and squirrels immediately steal them.