Russian olive

Rhamnales > Elaeagnaceae > Elaeagnus angustifolia L.
Synonym(s): oleaster

Russian olive is a deciduous tree or shrub growing to 35 ft. (10.6 m) in height. Russian olive is easily recognized by the silvery, scaly underside of the leaves and slightly thorny stems. Leaves are alternate and 1/2 in. (1.3 cm) wide. Small, yellowish flowers or hard green to yellow fruits are abundant and occur on clusters near the stems in the spring and summer. Russian 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. Russian olive is native to Europe and western Asia and was introduced into North America in the late 1800s. Since then it has been widely planted for wildlife habitat, mine reclamation, and shelterbelts.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Foliage;
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Spring
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Stem. Summer
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Twig(s)/Shoot(s);
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Bark; Winter
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Paul Wray, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Summer
Patrick Breen, Oregon State University, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; Fish Lake National Forest, Utah
J. Scott Peterson, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • California - Invasive Plant Inventory
  • Colorado - Noxious Weed Law
  • Connecticut - Noxious Weed Law
  • New Mexico - Noxious Weed Law
  • Rhode Island - Noxious Weed Law
  • South Carolina - EPPC List
  • Tennessee - EPPC List
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Virginia - Invasive Alien Plant Species
  • Wyonming - Noxious Weed Law
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England


External Links


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