thorny-olive Elaeagnaceae Elaeagnus
|Leaf: Evergreen, alternate, simple, thick, 2 to 4 inches long, half (or less) as wide, oval to lanceolate, with entire to wavy margins that may be crisped with brown scales, shiny waxy green and distinctly scaly above, silvery and scaly below and on the petiole.
Flower: Bell-shaped, 1/2 to 5/8 inch long, distinctly fragrant, lacking petals, pale yellow to white, appearing in late fall.
Fruit: Berry-like oval achene, red covered with silver scales, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, sweet, juicy and edible, matures in spring.
Twig: Silvery scaly or red-brown scaly, may bear thorns, later developing a shiny light brown color; buds are small, silvery-brown and rounded, covered with 4 very loose scales.
Bark: Scaly reddish brown and smooth when young, with orange lenticels.
Form: A shrub, small tree, or a scrambling climber, to 20 feet tall and as wide when free-standing, when given a supporting structure it can climb higher, very irregular in outline, with long slender branches often sticking up above the rest of the "crown", produces root suckers.
Looks like: Russian-olive
| Additional Range Information:
Elaeagnus pungens is planted in the USDA
hardiness zones shown above and may seed
into the landscape. See
states reporting thorny-olive.
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson