BugwoodWiki Article

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens Thunb.

Overview

Appearance
Elaeagnus pungens is a dense evergreen shrub that invades natural areas throughout the southeastern United States. The shrub is often multi-stemmed and short. Sharp shoots give it a thorny appearance. Shrubs can grow 3.3-26.3 ft. (1-8 m) tall. Shrubs are usually very dense with long shoots extending from the top.
Foliage
The leaves are alternate, oval to elliptical, with irregular wavy margins and silvery surfaces, 2-4 in. (5.1-10.2 cm) in length and thick.
Flowers
The axillary clusters of small, sweet-smelling, white to brown flowers develop in the fall.
Fruit
Plants rarely fruit, but fruit are small, red and dotted with small brown scales.
Ecological Threat
Elaeagnus pungens closely resembles two other exotic olives, autumn olive and Russian olive. A high shade tolerance allows Elaeagnus pungens to invade both in open areas and under forest canopies. The seeds are dispersed by animals, giving this plant the potential for rapid spread. This plant is native to eastern Asia and was first introduced into the United States in 1830 as an ornamental.

Resources

Selected Images


1604232
1604232

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Cultivar
John Ruter
0016038
0016038

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Fruit(s)
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner
2307054
2307054

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Foliage
James H. Miller
2307055
2307055

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Foliage
James H. Miller
5389527
5389527

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Fruit(s)
Nancy Loewenstein
5389529
5389529

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Fruit(s)
Nancy Loewenstein
5402758
5402758

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Foliage
Joseph LaForest
5402759
5402759

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Foliage
Joseph LaForest
5434762
5434762

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Bark
Karan A. Rawlins
5434763
5434763

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Fruit(s)
Karan A. Rawlins
1120513
1120513

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Plant(s)
James H. Miller
2307057
2307057

thorny olive
Elaeagnus pungens
Plant(s)
James H. Miller

Maps


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

State Regulated List

Taxonomic Rank

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

Other System Links

Plants: ELPU2
GRIN: 14928
ITIS: 502223
NPDN Host: 34218

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
thorny elaeagnus, silverthorn, spotted elaeagnus

Categories

Category: Shrub or Subshrub