autumn-olive Elaeagnaceae Elaeagnus
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 1 to 3 inches long, 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide, lanceolate in shape with an entire margin. Leaves are green and distinctly scaly above, silvery and scaly below.
Flower: Bell-shaped, 1/2 inch long, very fragrant, lacking petals, yellow-white, appearing in spring.
Fruit: Berry-like achene, red covered with silver scales, 1/4 to 1/3 inch long, sweet and juicy, matures in late summer.
Twig: Young branches are silvery and scaly, and may bear thorns, later developing a light brown color; buds are small, silvery-brown and rounded, covered with 4 scales.
Bark: Smooth and gray when young, becoming split and furrowed later.
Form: A shrub or very small tree to 15 feet, rounded in outline.
Looks like: Russian-olive - thorny-olive - buffaloberry - silverberry
Additional Range Information: Elaeagnus umbellata is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting autumn-olive.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)