Elaeagnus umbellata is a deciduous shrub from 3-20 ft. (0.9-6.1 m) in height with thorny branches. It is easily recognized by the silvery, dotted underside of the leaves.
Leaves are alternate, 2-3 in. (5-8 cm) long and 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide. The margins are entire and undulate. Leaves are bright green to gray green above and silver scaly beneath with short petioles.
Small, yellowish tubular flowers are abundant and occur in clusters of 5 to 10 near the stems from February to June.
Fruits are round, red, juicy drupes which are finely dotted with silvery to silvery-brown scales. Each drupe contains one seed. Fruits ripen from August to November.
Check out the downloadable fact sheet above.
Autumn olive invades old fields, woodland edges, and other disturbed areas. It can form a dense shrub layer which displaces native species and closes open areas.
Native to China and Japan and was introduced into North America in 1830.
Man-made or disturbed habitats, forest edges, meadows, and fields. This plant that thrives in a variety of conditions, in part because it is capable of fixing nitrogen.
Plants flower and develop fruits annually after reaching 3 years of age, although 2-year-old plants have been known to flower. A single plant can produce up to 8 pounds of fruit. Birds seem to be the primary vector for seed dispersal, although raccoons, skunks, and opossums are also known to eat the fruit.
How You Can Help
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), Dogwoods (Cornus sp.), Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), Common winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Autumn olive, E Spinney, VT FPR