E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Elaeagnus angustifolia L.
Russian olive
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66324)

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Distribution of Elaeagnus angustifolia
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Species Information

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Deciduous shrub or small tree; stems sometimes thorny, branched, young twigs silvery, to 7 m tall.
Alternate, linear to linear-lanceolate, 4-8 cm long, silvery on both surfaces but paler below, entire.
Inflorescence of 1 to few short-stalked flowers in axillary clusters; corollas dark yellow within, silvery outside, funnel-shaped, about 1 cm long, 4-lobed, aromatic; stamens 4.
Single achenes enclosed in silvery-scaly drupes or berries, 1-2 cm long, elliptic, yellow.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Yellow
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry roadsides and waste places in the steppe zone; locally frequent in SC BC; introduced from Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Elaeagnus angustifolia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
Slope Gradient (%) 1 1 1
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Elaeagnus angustifolia var. orientalis (L.) Kuntze

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References