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Russian Olive   arrow

Elaeagnus angustifolia (ee-lee-ag’-nus an-gus-ti-fo’-lee-ah)
Family: Elaeagnaceae, Oleaster

Key Steps


Russian Olive leafLeaf: Long, narrow. Smooth margin. Pale gray-green color. Scaly, silvery above and on petiole.

Bud: Small, round, 4 exposed scales covered with silvery, scaly, short hairs.

Leaf Scar: Half round, tiny. One bundle scar.

Stem: Long, sharp thorns. Slender stem, shiny brown or covered with silver-green, short hairs.

Bark: Shiny brown, shreddy with age.

Pith: Small, round, continuous brown.

Flower: 1-3 blossoms in leaf axils along new stem growth. May and June. Fragrant. Outer silver scales, inner yellow.

Fruit: May persist. Usually a creamy-yellow color. If salmon-colored, plant could be Autumn Olive, E. umbellata. Fruit is on very short stalk.

Habit: Suckers profusely at base. Can form a thicket if allowed to spread. 25 feet by 20 feet, round, irregular shape.

Culture: A Colorado noxious weed. Invasive in riparian areas.