BugwoodWiki Article

autumn olive
Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb.


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 from February to June.
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.
Ecological Threat
Elaeagnus umbellata invades old fields, woodland edges, and other disturbed areas. It can form a dense shrub layer which displaces native species and closes open areas. Elaeagnus umbellata is native to China and Japan and was introduced into North America in 1830. Since then, it has been widely planted for wildlife habitat, mine reclamation, and shelterbelts. It is a non-leguminous nitrogen fixer.


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Most Troublesome and Common Weeds
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Rhamnales
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Elaeagnus

Other System Links

Plants: ELUM
Bayer: ELGUM
GRIN: 14934
ITIS: 27776
NPDN Host: 37065

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
autumn olive, oleaster, silverberry


Category: Shrub or Subshrub