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The Plant Guide

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Autumn olive

Elaeagnus umbellata

el-ee-AG-nus um-bell-AY-tah

Autumn olive is a vigorous, deciduous shrub with pale yellow-white bell-shaped flowers to a half-inch long borne in late spring and early summer. Its silvery fruit turns red in fall and attracts birds. Wavy-margined leaves are silvery when they emerge and mature to bright green above.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsInvasive in the Mid-Atlantic region; spreads by birds eating the fruit and distributing the seeds.

CareGrow in fertile soil in full sun.

PropagationSemi-ripe cuttings in midsummer.

ProblemsOccurring frequently: cankers, dagger nematode, dieback, rust, fungal leaf spots, and root rot.

  • Genus : Elaeagnus
  • Plant Height : 10 to 15 feet
  • Plant Width : 10 to 15 feet
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Spring, Spring, Summer
  • Growth Rate : Fast
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Characteristics : Self Seeds, Showy Fruit
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : White, Yellow
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