Russian olive USDA PLANTS Symbol: ELAN
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub Hardwood Trees
Elaeagnus angustifolia L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Rhamnales: Elaeagnaceae
Synonym(s): Russian olive, oleaster
Native Range: Temp. & trop. Asia, Europe (GRIN);

Appearance
Elaeagnus angustifolia is a shrub or small tree that can grow to 35 ft. (10 m) tall. The young branches are silvery while the older branches are brown. They are occasionally thorny and covered with scales.
Foliage
The leaves are simple, alternate and lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate. They are 1-4 in. (3-10 cm) long and have silver scales on both sides.
Flowers
The fragrant flowers are 0.5-0.6 in. (1.2-1.5 cm) wide, silvery outside and yellow within. There are 1-3 flowers within the leaf axils. They appear in May to June.
Fruit
The fruit are 0.4 in. (1 cm) long, are yellow and almost completely covered by densely silver scales. The fruit contain one large seed that can be up to 0.4 in. (1 cm) long within.
Ecological Threat
Although Elaeagnus angustifolia is not considered to be invasive in New England at this time, in the western part of the United States it is considered invasive as well as a noxious weed in some states. It grows especially well in riparian situations and has been documented as out-competing the native plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides). It has been planted along roads and highways in New England because of its drought and salt tolerance. Nitrogen-fixing nodules allow this plant to survive in adverse conditions. Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata), its invasive relative, has a similar biology and is already widely invasive in New England.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Tree(s); habitat
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s);
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Fruit(s); Summer
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Joseph Berger, , Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Stem. Summer
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Spring
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s);
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Bark; Winter
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Fish Lake National Forest, Utah
J. Scott Peterson, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Badlands National Park (South Dakota)
Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado)
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Utah)
Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona)
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area (Texas)
Scotts Bluff National Monument (Nebraska)
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (North Dakota)



Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
Faith Campbell, 1998
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Invasive Plant Council of New York State
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
Pacific Northwest Exotic Pest Plant Council, 1998
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.
Reichard, Sarah. 1994.  Assessing the potential of invasiveness in woody plants introduced in North America. University of Washington Ph.D. dissertation.
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tatyana Livschultz, Pennsylvania survey of invasive plants,
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation