The uncommonly hardy American silverberry exists in the far northern reaches of America and Canada and can even be found in areas with permafrost. In colder regions it survives as a very short shrub and in the warmer parts of its range it can be sizable. All plants tend to sucker. Wild populations are most commonly found along oceansides, in upland prairies and areas with dry sandy or gravelly soils. They are shallow-rooted and commonly planted as fast-growing windbreaks in natural areas.
This shrubby, woody plant has interesting leaves that are coarse to the touch due to a covering of silvery scales. The leaves are elliptical and alternate on the sometimes thorny stems. Extremely fragrant, tiny, four-lobed, bell-shaped flowers of yellow appear in early to midsummer. They are followed by small, egg-shaped, whitish green berry-like fruits that are edible but mealy. Birds favor the fruits and spread their seed.
Elaeagnus are some of the most durable shrubs and tolerant of most soil conditions. American silverberry grows best in full to partial sun and will tolerate just about any poor soil as long as its well-drained. Those with a more neutral pH are preferred. Like most silverberries this species is very salt, wind and pest resistant. Large plants generally need plenty of room to grow and may require regular pruning to keep long branches in check. This is an ideal species for difficult areas and may be planted as an informal hedge, wind break or screen.
All Elaeagnus species fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil, a quality which allows then to grow better in poorer soils.
(Info source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Elaeagnus
Species - Commutata
Common name - American Silverberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 2 - 7
Height - 1'-12' / 0.3m - 3.7m
Spread - 1'-12' / 0.3m - 3.7m
Plant type - Medium Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Neutral. alkaline
Soil type - Loam, sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
Germination rate - 85%
Leaf / Flower color - Silver Green / --
|1. Soak the seeds for 12 hours. Mix with moist sterile sand or vermiculite. Place in to a ziplock bag. Secure the envelope closed to keep the seeds inside. Place the seeds in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for 90 days. Adjust the refrigerator's temperature to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (+2-4C).
2. Remove the seeds from the refrigerator and place them on the counter until they reach room temperature.
3. Bury the seeds one-quarter of the way down in a seed-starting tray filled with starter mix. Moisten the starter soil with a water spray bottle. Move the seeds to a warm location, away from direct sunlight. Keep the starter soil moist until the seeds germinate.
4. Move the seedlings to a sunny window till as they reach 3 to 4 inches in height. Cut the weakest seedlings with scissors. Leave only the strongest seedlings or only the amount you wish to plant in the landscape. Allow the seedlings to stay indoors until the last frost, regularly ensuring that the soil is moist.
5. Transplant the seedlings outdoors in the early spring, after the last frost. Plant the seedlings in full sun, away from other shrubs and trees. It can become invasive and overcrowd nearby root systems, causing poor growth or death.
Info source: eHow.com