SEARCH AND WILDFLOWER HOME PAGE     TREES      CONTACT US

NOXIOUS WEED
CO, NM, UT

Elaeagnus angustifolia

 

Elaeagnus angustifolia
Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian Olive)
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, disturbed areas, fields. Late spring/early summer.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, September 16, 2010.

Russian Olive, no relation to Olive trees, is a widely spread non-native species that often chokes out native plants -- especially along streams.  But it is a handsome 25-50 foot tall tree with silvery green foliage, a super abundance of redolent yellow flowers, and so much gray/green fruit that branches droop until birds gorge themselves and unburden the branches.  The photograph at left shows the silvery green leaves dotted with numerous white clusters of fruit.

"Elaeo" is Greek for "olive" and "agnos" for "chaste" (since the fruits are not humanly edible).  "Angustifolia" is Latin for "narrow-leaved".

Linnaeus described this plant from Eurasia in his 1753 Species Plantarum.

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian Olive) 
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, disturbed areas, fields. Late spring/early summer.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 6, 2004.

The tiny yellow flowers carry a very big sweet scent for the entire month of June.

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian Olive) 
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, disturbed areas, fields. Late spring/early summer.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, June 6, 2004.

Leaves are downy hairy, young twigs are reddish brown, and older bark is longitudinally furrowed.   Older branches have stout spines.  Wood is dense.

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian Olive)
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster Family)

Foothills, montane. Streamsides, disturbed areas, fields. Late spring/early summer.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, August 5, 2004.

This fruit-ladened branch means good eating for many birds in the fall. The very firm fruit, mostly seed, is eaten whole by most birds, but some smaller birds scrape the pulp.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Elaeagnus angustifolia