Eleagnus pungens

Bellingham(z8 WA)August 16, 2005

I'm putting together my list of possibles for my landscape and I came across Eleagnus. I know smell is very subjective, but can someone try to help me with a description of the smell?

I think I may have smelled this before, but I'm not sure. I believe this is related to a bush that grows along ditch banks in central New Mexico, and has a very strong, musky, almost rotten, smell, a bit like a mix of ligustrum and just a dash of rotting garbage? I would describe it as not a very good smell, and I imagine many would be off-put. Do I have the right bush?

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Arl_Tom(z7A VA)

Elaeagnus pungens has a sweet scent, like gardenia (to my nose:)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 7:53PM
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Bellingham(z8 WA)

Hmmm...Ok, I probably have the wrong bush. I'll investigate further at the nursery in spring (with my nose).

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:47PM
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the fragrance reminds me of moonflower. it is musky floral but not "garbage-like" to me.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 9:05AM
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Heavinsent(z9 La)

Ive had my eye on this shrub too, I pulled up this page the other day, it may be of some help Ive heard it has a sweet smell as well. If you find a good mail order source please do share.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 4:42PM
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Bellingham(z8 WA)

I see that one of my local nurseries stocks E. multiflora, which is supposed to be fragrant also. Any know if it's more or less fragrant?

p.s. Thanks alr tom for the heads up on the spelling. That smoothed out my google searches a bit.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 8:48PM
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Arl_Tom(z7A VA)

Not sure about multiflora, but E. pungens blooms in the fall (close to Halloween around here.) I got mine from Woodlanders several years ago, but Forestfarm has several varieties, too.
BTW, birds love the fruit and the branches are fairly thorny.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCSU Fact Sheet

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:19PM
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Bellingham(z8 WA)

Hey, maybe I need both. The one I saw on the local nursery webpage (E. multiflorus 'Sweet Scarlet') is a spring bloomer. Like I said, I'm putting together a whole list of fragrant plants, so the more the merrier...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 12:20AM
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puddles_of_portland(Zone 8 OR)

Multiflora is not that fragrant from a distance, but as I posted on another thread, it does have a sweet scent, and if you have several mature plants, you will have some aroma therapy nearby.

I think pungens is more of a wafter, although my experience with it is limited. I do have 2 Goumi (E. multiflora), but I usually have to get close to the flowers to enrich my nostrils.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 12:26AM
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I have e pungens. It is a wonderful fragrance! Blooms in the fall and it waftes. If it didn't wafte I wouldn't even know it smelled, because they are located pretty far from my house and the flowers aren't noticable. After smelling them the first fall I went and bought 18 more and planted them as an enclosure around my yard. They get big, though, and they aren't that pretty.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 9:05PM
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Nearly all eleagnus species are extremely invasive and should not be planted! Before planting anything, you should always check your state's list of invasive species. Try to plant native species whenever possible to help your local birds, butterflies and insects.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 4:40PM
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I would describe the scent of Eleagnus pungens as delicious, nothing unpleasant at all and it carries a good distance. Not sure if it is invasive (don't ever see it growing in the woods around my area). Blooms around Halloween time which adds to it's interest (for me at least).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:35PM
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