Elaeagnus umbellata

Autumn Olive

Origin Of Species
Physical Description
Autumn olive is an evergreen shrub that reaches between three and sixteen feet in height. Its alternating elliptic leaves grow to between one and three inches in length.  Leaf color varies from bright green to deep grayish green.  White tubular flowers possess four lobes and bloom in the spring between February and June in clusters of five to ten.  Small brownish red fruits ripen in the fall between August and October.
Habitat And Distribution
Autumn olive is prominent near abandoned fields, forest and pasture edges, roadsides, and vacant areas along the entire eastern coast of the United States, spreading as far west as Louisiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Location On Campus
Autumn olive is occasionally planted as an ornamental shrub in the Richmond area.
Negative Impacts
Autumn olive is an extremely fast growing shrub that produces a significant amount of fruit per season, usually dispersed by birds.  It may displace native plants by crowding out and monopolizing essential resources.  Its ability to fix nitrogen allows it to survive in a diverse range of environments.  Autumn olive is able to quickly grow back after disturbances and is extremely difficult to eradicate.
VDCR Invasiveness Ranking
Highly Invasive Species

Additional Images: Leaves   Leaves with stem  

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