Herb: Goumi


Latin name: Elaeagnus multiflora


Synonyms: Elaeagnus longipes


Family: Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)



Medicinal use of Goumi:

The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. The leaves are used in the treatment of coughs. The fruit is prescribed in the treatment of watery diarrhoea. The root is astringent, a decoction is used to treat itch and foul sores.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
April
to May


Scent:
Scented
Shrub

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets and thin woods in hills and on lowland, at elevations of 600 - 1800 metres.

Edible parts of Goumi:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Pleasantly acid when ripe, they make a very good dessert fruit though they are usually made into pies, preserves etc. Quite fiddly and difficult to pick without breaking the young shoots. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent. The fruit contains a single large seed. Seed - raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous.

Other uses of the herb:

Plants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, tolerating maritime exposure. Reasonably fast growing and providing a good screen in the summer, though much more open in the winter. It is a good companion hedge to grow, the plants enriching the soil and improving the growth of neighbouring plants. A hedge in a very exposed position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall was 3.5 metres tall in 1989. Often used as a rootstock for evergreen species that are hard to grow from cuttings. It frequently sprouts from the base and can out-compete the scion.

Propagation of Goumi:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. It should germinate in late winter or early spring, though it may take 18 months. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking more than 18 months. A warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold stratification can help. The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well. Prick out the seedlings into individual pot as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out when they are at least 15cm tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 10 - 12cm with a heel, November in a frame. Leave for 12 months. Fair to good percentage. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets and thin woods in hills and on lowland, at elevations of 600 - 1800 metres.

Known hazards of Elaeagnus multiflora:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.