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Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

Posted by l_james mo5 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 20, 09 at 22:35

I was in the field yesterday and noticed a volunteer Russian olive that was just loaded with fat juicy red berries and ate a few. These were the sweetest Russian olives I've ever tasted. Normally the fruit of a Russian olive is sweet but some what astringent, you know the green persimmon taste. I was wondering if it was the growing conditions or if this one is genetically better.
The only draw back is I'll bet that the Russian olive is one of the worst invasive species ever.
Any comments?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 21, 09 at 2:49

Do you have a photo of this? Russian olive doesn't tend to have red berries, though there is a red kind. Maybe a different species in the genus?


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

might be gumi or elaeagnus multiflora.

Here is a link that might be useful: gumi


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 21, 09 at 15:09

Also, Autumn olive(Eleaganus umbellata) has red fruit usually and can be alright tasting. Here is pic of couple colors of the fruit
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I stand corrected. It is a gumi, Elaeagnus multiflora. Locally it's called Russian olive which I see is incorrect.
The link states that the're hard to get started from seeds but here locally the birds have spread the seeds extensivly.
I have ocassionally eaten the fruit from other bushes but this one is unique.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I went back to show my son the gumi bush and we tried some fruit. It was more astringent on Tuesday that on Sunday. We had a couple of nights of rain. I don't know if this affected it or what happened but it's not a great a find as I had thought.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 23, 09 at 0:17

you probably were hungrier the other day


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

That could have been. I had just finished a project when I happened upon the bush and the berries were sweet and juicy.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I was eating some of the berries of Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) the other day, as I was cutting them down (to clear out a border and remove invasive plants). They are tasty when fully ripe, a mix of tart and sweet, and are supposed to be rich in Vit c and lycopene. Perhaps you stumbled across a plant that was genetically sweeter than most?

It's a very invasive plant in Mass. so I remove it from the property, but it's too bad since it's a pretty shrub (unlike Buckthorn and Burning Bush) has nice fragrant flowers, and the berries are edible.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

Gumi/goumi fruit is ripe in midsummer, not September.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I just ate some of the red & orange berries last week in Butler Pa. Was with an older Polish guy who called them Russian Olives. The orange ones were generally sweeter. Tasted like Sour cherries with a slight alum bite. So r they Russian Olives or Gumi. I bought a bush from Gurneys several years ago that produces loads of berries in the spring. Twice the size of the fall berries from last week.
Looked exactly the same, bright red with gold flecks. It was advertised as some kind of Russian berry but didn't write it down


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I have 5 Russian Olive trees and would not eat the fruit until it is processed. Too puckery.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I believe the berries I tried were gumi berries.
I had a pinch of chewing tobacco under my gums when I tried them the time they were so juicy and sweet. I tried them with out the tobacco later and they were the same as the others, juicy and sweet but with a mild astringentcy.
At first I thought I had discovered something new but it was not so.
Although from posting this I have learned a lot about them.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

Check out buffalo berries. The fruit really looks like the autumn olive trees above, add a nice touch of blue/green/silver to the landscape, and produce wonderful small red berries like those pictured above. When ripe, they are sour like a pie cherry or grapefruit and have a hint of grapefruit flavor and a small seed you can swallow or spit out.

Their main drawback is that they are very thorny and picking the berries results in numerous pricked fingers. Best to wait until just after a good frost, then lay a tarp under the tree and shake it good to knock the berries off. It is a native, not invasive, and very hardy with few pests.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 16, 09 at 9:59

Like alexander has brought up, gumi fruit bears in the summer, not the fall. Autumn olive is the most likely fruit that was ate.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

I believe your right it is autum olive. I googled autum olive and believe this is the plant and fruit.
Locally everyone calls it Russian Olive which I'm sure is incorrect.
I want to thank everyone for their input. I can now speak intelligently about this invasive species.


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RE: Anyone eat Russian olive fruit?

Yea ! if you can stand seeds the best way to eat them is to get a hand full of them when it takes just a little bit of efort to knock them off the branches. (when ripe) then chew the seeds and all, its almost like the breaking of the seeds mellows out the bit factor of the berry witch i kinda like . If you think that jams and stuff are good and your a wine drinker AutumOlive wine is the best ever ! i made 5 gal last year and after it sat about 8 months it was unreal how good it was. not to mention about 12% alc to. if interested ill send my wine instructions to you.


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