Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Plant Height: 20-30 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Fruit: Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Fall
Flowers: Inconspicuous
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Pollinators: Bees
Containers: Not suitable for containers
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Silhouette of the branch growth.

This plant is tagged in:

Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 18, 2018 11:44 AM

This small tree from southern Europe through western Asia and central Asia once was somewhat commonly planted in the Chicago, Illinois area in the 1960's into the 1980's for its pretty silver-gray foliage. However, most trees would live about 15 to 20 years and then die from canker disease and/or Verticillium Wilt. Nurseries in the area discontinued growing it, and this happened across much of the humid eastern side of the country. It is native to dry regions and it does not thrive in humid regions. It is not a good quality tree anyway. We professional horticulturists considered it as a cheap, planted weed tree. I don't know of this Silverberry Russian-olive escaping cultivation in the Midwestern or Eastern US, though her shrubby sister, the Autumn-olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) from East Asia does that a lot and is a very invasive plant. During my last visit to Chicagoland, I saw just a few of this species still around, and I have seen a very few in southeast Pennsylvania. I am surprised to see any. There may be a few cheap mail order nurseries selling it. I'm sure it does much better out in the drier Western US where it probably is an invasive Eurasian plant.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Tree is needed by Agoo Dec 10, 2019 7:15 PM 1
Plant ID Numbers by Paul2032 Oct 21, 2014 5:43 PM 33
Blooming in October by purpleinopp Nov 15, 2013 5:56 PM 11
Salt tolerant plants by eclayne Feb 8, 2013 9:39 PM 130
Do you have any fall projects? What are you doing in your garden? by virginiarose Dec 1, 2012 7:13 PM 69
Late August 2012 @ Joannabanana's by Joannabanana Nov 1, 2012 9:29 PM 25

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