Russian Olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia

Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is a relatively small ornamental tree which has recently impacted several regions in BC. First introduced for its silver leaves and ability to withstand cold BC winters, this tree is now out-competing native vegetation around the province.

This tree is currently abundant in the Southern Interior, the Okanagan, and the Lower Mainland. Its ability to withstand flooding, drought, shade, and full sun give this tree few growing limitations within its areas.

Distinguishable due to its silver leaves, fragrant yellow flowers and silver berries, Russian olive is a popular ornamental choice among gardeners. The silver berries produced by this tree aid in its dispersal, highly selected for amongst birds and mammals, the seedy diet of these animals contributes to its spread.

The spread of this species has led to negative impacts on several native trees and plants within BC, because of this all sightings of Russian olive in BC must be reported to manage the spread. When planting an ornamental garden, please be ‘PlantWise’ and choose species which are non-invasive as alternatives. 

Gallery: Russian Olive

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