Silver Berry (Elaeagnus commutata) is a species of Elaeagnus native to western and boreal North America. It typically grows on dry to moist sandy and gravel soils in steppes, meadows, or woodland edges. Fast-growing, long-lived, and resistant to disease and insect problems and drought. The leaves are broad lanceolate, 2–7 cm long, silvery on both sides with dense small white scales. The fragrant flowers are yellow, with a four-lobed corolla 6–14 mm long. The fruit is a dull, silvery to yellowish, oval to nearly round drupe up to ½ inch long, densely covered in silvery scales when young. The flesh is mealy and inedible. The pit inside is elliptic, nearly as long as the drupe. It grows in a variety of conditions from moist to dry, usually in open, sunny locations but tolerates some shade and is occasionally found under the canopy of Aspen or Poplar stands.
Silver Berry Benefits:
- A strong decoction of the bark, mixed with oil, has been used as a salve for children with frostbite.
- 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.
- Good when added to soups they also make an excellent jelly.
- Because they fix atmospheric nitrogen, they enrich the soil and so make a very good companion hedge in orchards, etc.
- The fibrous bark is used in weaving, it has been twisted to make strong ropes and has also been used to make blankets and clothing.
- Dried fruits are used as beads. The berries have been used to make soap.