Eleagnus ebbingei or submacrophylla flowers in fall and winter - mediterranean Garden in Languedoc South of France

Eleagnus ebbingei (submacrophylla)

Heavenly Scent & Drought Resistance in One.

The side of the garden towards the neighbors is largely planted with Eleagnus x Ebbingei, now known as Eleagnus submacrophylla or “Chalef” in Garden-French. This shrub was totally unknown to me and when I first saw it in the summer, it didn’t impress me much.

But then came the fall and with it a wonderful perfume – somewhere between carnations, cloves and jasmine – wafting throughout the garden. I looked everywhere for the source of this scent and finally discovered the tiny flowers in the eleagnus shrubs. They bloom from September through December and are thus very popular with bees at that time. In mild climates like here the flowers turn into oblong red fruit by May. The fruit is tasty and sweet when fully ripe. It’s not really worth harvesting on a large scale though because the large pit makes for about 90% of the volume. I eat it like candy when I’m in the garden.

But eleagnus submacrophylla offers even more benefits: It is evergreen, tolerates even extreme heat and drought (although looking somewhat less pretty then), is totally undemanding as to soil quality, and is even reputed to increase the yield of fruit trees if planted between them.

The leaves are light-green and glossy in spring and take on a rough surface with a silvery sheen as summer progresses. It grows quickly, up to about 3 meters high, if not trimmed, and tolerates negative temperatures up to -15℃.

An absolute recommendation for any garden in this type of climate.


One response to “Eleagnus ebbingei (submacrophylla)”

  1. […] with eleagnus ebbingei, our garden is bordered by a few big Photinia fraseri “Red Robin” bushes. Apparently it […]

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