Shrub Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

Terminology | Pictorial

Elaeagnus angustifolia
Russian Olive
(Oleaster Family)

A shrub or small tree with a dense crown of low branches, growing to a height of 6 m and a diameter of 10 cm.

Russian Olive Description

Distinguishing Features - Leaves: 4 - 8 cm long, lance-shaped, without teeth, short-stalked; colouration: dull grayish-green with subtle veins above, silvery, scaly, and brown-dotted underneath. Bark: grayish-brown; thin, grooved and shedding in long strips. Twigs: silvery, scaly when young, becoming reddy-brown; long and slender; often ending in short spine. Flowers: 10 mm long; bell-shaped; with four calyx lobes, yellow inside, silvery outside; short-stalked; scattered along twigs at leaf bases. Fruit: 10 - 12 mm long; berrylike, elliptical, yellow to brown with silvery scales, shiny; sweet edible pulp; large brown stone; scattered along twig.


Native to Europe and Asia; introduced to North America in British Columbia east to Ontario, southeast to New England; in moist soil conditions; primarily in valleys.


The fruit of the Russian Olive provides food for cedar waxwings, robins, and grosbeaks; also pheasants and quail.

Return to Top of Page

Home | Forest Capital of Canada | About Our Website |
Ontario's North (West) Forest | Boreal Forests of the World | North (West) Forest Industry |
World Links and Resources | "Forest Finder" Search Engine | Educational Resources |
What's Happening | Contacts | Site Map |