Russian olive
Elaeagnus pungens
  • LEAVES: simple, alternate, entire, wavy margins; light olive green and glabrous above, creamy brown and scurfy below; conspicuous rusty-brown dots (stellate trichomes)
  • FLOWER: November to December; axillary clusters of small tubular flowers with 4 lobes; silvery-white to brown.
  • FRUIT: drupe, 1-1.5”; red to brown; calyx persistant
  • TWIGS: brown and scrufy (roughly scaly)
  • BARK:
  • FORM: shrub with long summer sprouts with long internodes
  • HABITAT: prefers full sun and well drained soils
  • RANGE: native of Asia; found North Carolina to Texas
  • USES: fruit is widely used by most upland game birds and many song birds, mammals such as raccoon, opossum, black bears; good escape cover; Common ornamental; naturalized and may be a pest in some regions
  • Best Recognition Features:
    1. glabrous light-olive upper leaf
    2. scabrous creamy lower leaf
    3. rough brown twigs