Elaeagnus ethnobotany feralculture gardening holistic health invasive species local food permaculture wild food

Elaeagnus umbellata: inside out berries?

1. This species of Elaeagnus is NOT invasive in my area. “Invasive” meaning in this case, seeds won’t germinate and grow through natural conditions.

2. There are no objective definitions of “invasive” and “native.” Modern ecology tells us that pretty much all ecosystems are recently evolved aggregates. All species invade other places and have their ecosystems invaded. This is the drive of biological diversity. We don’t like certain species for certain reasons, some rational and others not. This points to the understanding that an “invasive” species is not a scientific phenomenon, but a cultural one.

3. So let’s say Elaeagnus umbellata is considered to be invasive in your area and you do not want it there. Why not?

I hear many people say it doesn’t “belong” because it wasn’t there until very recently. What usually is not be considered here is the drastic changes the land has endured very recently. Now that the land has been catastrophically destroyed basically, does E. umbellata with its soil healing ability and massive edible abundance, really not “belong”? However, if it is your preference for E. umbellata to not grow in your area, I suggest two things: Really get to know what ecological health looks like in your area, and eat the frakking s*#! out them! They’re delicious. And good for you.

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