CWMA

PO Box 364

Paonia, CO 81428

 

970-361-8262

fax: 720-880-3051


Email:contact@cwma.org

 

 

Russian Olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia L

 

Keys to Identification

  • Tree or shrub up to 30 feet tall
  • Leaf is light green above and silvery beneath
  • Many yellowish olive-shaped fruit

This information courtesy of the Colorado Natural Areas Program

 

Family: Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster)

 

USDA Code: ELAN

 

Legal Status: Colorado Noxious Weed List B

 

 

Identification

Lifecycle: Perennial

 

Growth form: Tree, shrub

 

Flower: Small, light yellow clusters, bisexual.

 

Seeds/Fruit: Olive-shaped fruits, silver when first formed becoming yellow-red when mature. Produced in 3 to 5 years, in great quantities.

 

Leaves: Simple, alternate, narrow 2 to 3 inches long, and are untoothed. The upper surface of the leaf is light green, the lower surface is silvery white with dense scales.

 

Stems: Can reach 30 feet in height, trunks and branches have 1 to 2 inch thorns.

 

Seedling: Can reproduce by seed or root suckers. Tolerant of shade.

 

 

Similar Species

Natives: autumn olive.

 

 

Impacts

Ecological: Invades both upland and riparian communities. Creates monotypic stands which replaces native vegetation, altering structure nutrient cycling, and system hydrology.

 

 

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements: Can grow in a variety of soil and moisture conditions, but prefers open, moist riparian zones.

 

Distribution: Primarly found in central and western U.S. but is also found in eastern U.S.

 

Historical: Introduced from Europe

 

 

References

Whitson, T.D.(ed.), L.C. Burrill, S.A. Dewey, D.W. Cudney, B.E. Nelson, R.D. Lee, R. Parker. 5th Edition 1999. Weeds of the West.

Western Society of Weed Science, in cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services, Newark, CA

 

Hickman, J.C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press, Berkeley.

 

 

 

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