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Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Elaeagnus angustifolia

Russian Olive.JPG

Russian olive, Elaeagnus angustifolia, is a great wildlife tree and windbreak. It is extremely tolerant about environmental factors. It’s one of the best windbreak trees for high wind areas. You can make a hedge by planting Russian olive 10ft apart in a row. This plant doesn’t require that much water and can endure high salt and alkali. Its stems, buds, and leaves have a dense covering which is silvery and rusty scales. Its leaves are lance or egg-like shape. When it’s three years old, it begins to flower and fruit. Its flower is highly aromatic and creamy yellow. Usually, they appear in June and July. Wild animals love fruits of this plant. [1]


Silvery leaves

Each article provides different information, but height of Russian olive ranges 15ft to 20ft. It can grow up to 6ft per one year. Leaves are arranged in alternate way. Leaves are elliptic to lanceolate and have smooth edge. Mature leaves have a thick cover of shinny silver scales on the lower surface. One leaf is 1.7in to 3.5in long. Bud and stem are also covered with shinny silver scales. Twigs of this plant are flexible and have a thorn at the end. Its bark is very thin and appear between red and brown. When the third year of this plant, it begins to make flower and fruit. Its flowers are very fragrant. These small yellow flowers are borne in the axils of the leaves. Fruits of Russian olive is a light grayish-green and they have olive-shaped drupe. This plant has a small and yellow to creamy white color. It grows in a small cluster. The overflowing fruits of this plat seem small pink berries with silver scale cover. [2]


Many plants have seeds as their reproduction method. Likewise, Russian olive’s primary method of reproduction is seed. Its seeds are transported by water and many species of birds. When a bird eats fruits of Russian olive and then it excretes, seeds are disseminated. Russian olive normally flowers in May and June. Fruits mature in late summer, and remain until winter. Reproduction seeds are formed at 4 to 5 years of its growth. [3]


Field is one of the easiest place to live

Russian olive is primarily located in the central, western, and in the East, with its exotic partner Autumn olive. In the western US, Russian olives are distributed in the Great Basin Desert region at 800ft to 2000ft and are also abundant in riparian zones of the Great Plains, such as the Platte River. Also, this plant is normally found in stream courses, floodplains, marshes, riverbanks, and irrigation ditches in the West at elevations from 4500ft to 6000ft. Russian olive can easily endure drought and does well on any type of soil including clay, sand, and loam. It is even tolerant about high salinity or alkalinity soil. It will grow in field, open areas, and along streams. It also can quickly colonize infertile soils. [4]


The first cultivation of Russian olive was in 1736 in Germany. Today it is widely grown cover through central and southern Europe. All those are cultivated not only as an ornamental plants but also scented flowers and edible fruit. In the late 1800s, this plant was introduced into North America, then it escaped into wild and became an invasive species. It often out-competes native plants and interferes with natural plant succession. Even though it provides a bunch of edible fruits for birds, ecologists have found that birds get more richness in riparian areas dominated by native vegetation. [5]