Autumn Elaeagnus, Autumn Olive, Cardinal Olive
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub or small tree, 6-12 ft (1.8-3.7 m) high, equal spread, irregular habit, branches often thorny, twigs yellow-brown or silvery. Leaves alternate, simple, elliptic-oblong, 3-7 cm long, about 1/3 as wide, margins often wavy, bright green above with silvery scales (spots), the underside is silvery and with silvery or brown scales. Flowers perfect, yellow-white, fragrant, 12 long, tubular. Fruit to 8 mm, silvery to bronze, ripening to red.
- Sun to part shade. Adaptable to varied soils and can withstand drought.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 6 Native to Himalaya, China and Japan.
- Caution: Elaeagnus umbellata was widely planted by the Soil Conservation Service and other government agencies for shelterbelts, for food and cover for wildlife, and for roadside reclamation and soil stabilization. However, it is very fruitful and its fruit is attractive both to gardeners and birds, the latter consume the fruit and distribute the seed. This has resulted in E. umbellata becoming an invasive species in the eastern U.S. See review by Craig Stark in Vol. 6 of Reclamation and Restoration Review (http://www.hort.agri.umn.edu/h5015/rrr.htm).
- umbellata: flowers in umbel-like clusters.