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 in early summer.
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.
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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.
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Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), Dogwoods (Cornus sp.), Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), Common winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
E Spinney, VT FPR
1380001,5392986,1380003, 2188036, 1330008, Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
0001061, James R. Allison, Georgia Department Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
5306027, Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
5455449, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
2307059, James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
5408142, Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
UGA2189083, Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org