Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Russian Olive - Elaeagnus angustifolia   L.
Members of Elaeagnus with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Rhamnales » Family Elaeagnaceae
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DistributionCollected without cultivation in Graham, Orange, and Wake counties. Other specimens from Buncombe, Dare, Forsyth, and Wake counties are from cultivated plants.

Native of Eurasia; in N.A. throughout southern Canada and the U.S., but scattered east of the Mississippi River.
AbundanceVery rare.
HabitatBig Flat Gap (Graham Co.), Kenan Woods (Orange Co.), greenway (Wake Co.).
PhenologyFlowering May-July; fruiting September.
IdentificationRussian Olive is a small tree or large shrub. Leaves vary from lance-shaped to narrowly elliptical, short-tapered, generally covered with silvery sessile scales (especially beneath). Flowers are fragrant, dull yellow or tan, with a tube and 4 flaring pointed lobes. The fruits look like small olives. Our other spring flowering species is the very common E. umbellata, which has both silvery and bronzy leaf scales, and the leaves are broader.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankGNR
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFACU link
USACE-empFACU link
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B.A. SorrieSame data. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
B.A. SorrieRoadside tree, northern CO, June 2018. Photo_non_NCPhoto_non_NC
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