Goumi fruit from a tree native to Asia. Photo: Karley Duhon, Ruby, LA.
Karley wanted to identify a fruit tree on a family homestead, “I live in Ruby, La- in central Louisiana. My family and I live on my grandparents’ old place. As long as I can remember my grandmother told me this was a Russian Olive tree and that birds eat the berries, but they were poisonous to humans. I recently started doubting her (God rest her soul) and put it on a gardening page to see if anyone could positive ID. I got all kinds of opinions (imagine that). The one that looked most similar was called a Goumi tree. Do y’all have any does what it could be? I went from thinking it was poisonous, to considering making jelly out of it! 🤣🤣 Any guidance is appreciated!”
Yes, Karley is correct in identifying this as a goumi tree. Your grandmother is correct in that the goumi tree is related to Russian olive. A website of The University of Victoria in British Columbia shared this narrative, “Referred to as either Goumi or Gumi, but also as Cherry silverberry and scientifically as Elaeagnus multiflora, this small rounded, deciduous, and thorny shrub is an undiscovered plant in North America. Introduced over one hundred years ago from Asia, and highly valued specifically in Korea, China and Japan, Goumi is non-native and thus far non-invasive to North America. It is a close relative to Autumn Olive, and overall is a hardy plant being drought tolerant and rarely having disease or insect problems. Goumi stands 2-4m in height and produces small round red berries 1-2 cm in diameter. Ripening in mid to late summer [in British Columbia], berries are a deep scarlet red at their ripest and have a slight acidic flavor, they are commonly used in jams and pies. This plant may become more popular in the future because it has great environmental benefits as a nitrogen fixer and strong insectary attractant and has not been found to hold invasive properties.”
Burclover, both a farm and a landscape weed. Photo: DD Lamartiniere, Marksville, LA.
DD, a member of a Master Gardener class in Avoyelles Parish, sent an image of a weed and asked for identification.
DD has a weed found in both landscapes and in agriculture called bur clover or California burclover. The fruits are sticky burs with slight hooks at the tips. Treatments with broad-leaf herbicides, like Weed B Gone™, in January and February would prevent these unwanted burs.
A stand of sedges, a wetland plant. Photo: Lesley Hooks, DeRidder, LA.
Lesley in DeRidder asked, “What do I have? It is prolific! & I am loving it!”
Based on Lesley’s image, this site has sedges, and sedges like “wet feet.” At this writing, our area is about thirteen inches behind in rainfall, so this site is drier than normal, but the sedges are thriving despite the lack of moisture.
Fruit of a maypop or passion vine. Photo: NC State Extension.
Patricia is interested in cultivating a native plant, “I live in Ragley, LA [&] I grew up in Sulphur, LA. and at the back of our property growing wild were , what my grandmother called ‘maypops.’ They were medium green, leathery skin, egg shaped and delicious. I found seeds on line from a company named ‘ Trade Winds Fruit’ .”
I read that two passion vines, need to pollinate to produce fruit . The seeds that I bought are “ Passiflora incarnate “. I would like to know if this plant will grow in Ragley, and can the same vine pollinate itself.
Yes, NC State Extension and other websites confirm that maypops are native to southeastern United States so this fruiting plant will grow in Ragley. According to the University of Florida, these plants, sometimes called “passion fruit” tend to require another plant to pollinate.
Also, before planting, instructions are to put seeds in a glass of water for 24 hours. How much water[do maypops need]? All I have are nine seeds. Are they to float around or just be covered in the bottom , I am not sure [&] need help. I want Maypops, fruit not just vine. HELP”
Marie Iannotti, a Master Gardener in New York, wrote a blog on propagating passion fruit at www.thespruce.com :
[Maypops] can also be propagated from seed. Follow these steps to grow passionflower from seed.
In general, maypops and other plants require about one inch rain per week once they are in the ground.
If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits, and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337.284.5188 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”
“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”