What are goumi berries? Not a common fruit in any produce department, these little, bright red specimens are very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked into jellies and pies. Also to their credit, goumi berry shrubs are hardy and able to thrive in all kinds of conditions. Whether you want to collect the fruit or just want a tough, attractive tree, growing goumi berries is a good bet. Keep reading to learn more goumi berry information.
Caring for Goumi Berries
Goumi berry shrubs (Elaeagnus multiflora) are very durable. The plants can survive temperatures as low as -4 F. (-20 C.). Although the aboveground plant may die back at colder temperatures, the roots can survive as low as -22 F. (-30 C.) and will regrow again in the spring.
The shrubs can tolerate any kind of soil, from sand to clay and acidic to alkaline. They will grow in nutritionally poor soil and polluted air and will do well in full sun or partial shade. They can even tolerate salty sea air. In other words, growing goumi berries does not take a lot of special care. They’re just that flexible!
Additional Goumi Berry Information
The berries themselves are 1-2 cm (0.5 in.) wide, round and bright red. The shrub flowers in the spring and the fruits ripen in high summer.
Goumi berries are best harvested by shaking the shrub and collecting the berries on a sheet below. This can be hard on the plant, however, and you need to be careful not to damage the tender, young shoots. It helps to harvest the berries when they are at their ripest – they should be a deep, scarlet color and not as acidic in flavor. That being said, they are quite acidic even at their ripest, which is why they’re often made into pies and jams.