Russian olive is a non-native tree that has been planted as an ornamental and restoration species but has escaped and is now impacting our riparian areas. List B noxious weed.
Clusters of light yellow aromatic flowers. May-July
Photo: Jan Samanek, Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org
Fruits are silvery-grey. Each contain one hard seed. The fruits form in groups at leaf axils. Often eaten and spread by birds.
leaves are alternate leaves and egg or lance-shaped with smooth margins. Leaves are narrow and 2 to 3 inches long. The upper surface has star-shaped hairs that give them a greyish-green color. The undersides have silvery-white scales.
Stems have stiff sharply pointed spines. Young stems are smooth and rusty colored.
Mature bark is shaggy and reddish-brown.
Young plants are shrubby and are often found in disturbed areas.
Mature trees are 10 to 25+ feet tall and from 4 to 20 inches in diameter.