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Autumn Olive
Elaeagnaceae
Elaeagnus umbellata


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Herb



Elaeagnaceae Family

Elaeagnus Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Japanese Silverberry, Umbellate Oleaster


Location

Origin & Range: Native to eastern Asia. From the Himalayas east to Japan. Autumn olive is found from Maine to Virginia, and west to Wisconsin

Physical Description
It is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 4-10 m tall, with a dense, thorny crown. The leaves are alternate, 4-10 cm long and 2-4 cm wide, entire but with a waved margin they are silvery when they leaf out early in spring due to numerous tiny, scales, but turning greener above as the silvery scales wear off through the summer (unlike the related E. angustifolia, which remains silvery to leaf fall). The flowers are clustered 1-7 together in the leaf axils, fragrant, with a four-lobed pale yellowish-white 1 cm long corolla. The fruit is round to oval drupe 1 cm long, silvery-scaled orange ripening red dotted with silver or brown. When ripe, the fruit is juicy and edible, and works well as a fruit leather. It is small, extremely numerous, tart-tasting, and it has a chewable seed


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Elaeagnaceae
Rosales
Rosales
Order of Roses
NOX Clad
Nitrogen Bean Clad
Oxid-Faba
Fabidae
Bean-Like Class
Eurosids
Real Rose Class
Rosids
Rosids
Rose-Like Class
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Introduced from China and Japan. Autumn olive was introduced into the United States in 1830 and widely planted as an ornamental, for wildlife habitat, as windbreaks and to restore deforested and degraded lands. E. umbellata has become invasive from Maine south to South Carolina west to Oklahoma, and north to southwest Minnesota. In New England and in the Mid-Atlantic states, autumn olive seriously competes with native plant species
It has been shown to have from 7 to 17 times the amount of the antioxidant lycopene that tomatoes have. Lycopene has been consistently shown to be useful in decreasing the risk of prostate cancer
The flowers are astringent, cardiac and stimulant. The seeds are used as a stimulant in the treatment of coughs. The expressed oil from the seeds is used in the treatment of pulmonary affections. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers
Juicy and pleasantly acid, fruit are tasty raw and can also be made into jams, preserves etc. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent. The fruit contains about 8.3% sugars, 4.5% protein, 1% ash. The vitamin C content is about 12mg per 100g.



Autumn Olive
Spicebush Swallowtail on Autumn Olive



Autumn Olive
Flowers close up



Autumn Olive
Leaves and buds



Autumn Olive
Flowers



Autumn Olive
Scanned images of leaves and fruit

Comment: Autumn Olive, Elaeagnus umbellata

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