Wild Florida Photo - Elaeagnus pungens

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Elaeagnus pungens

SILVERTHORN

THORNY OLIVE

SILVERLEAF

Not native to Florida

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council:  Category II designation
Invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species.
Planting this species should be avoided and removal of existing plants may be desirable.

 

This evergreen shrub used in landscapes has naturalized in scattered Florida Counties. Native of Asia, it can also be found throughout the southeast, west into Louisiana, north to Kentucky and Virginia, plus Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
A thorny, tangled shrub that can grow up to 6 m (20 ft.) tall with long limber shoots. The alternate leaves are elliptic to oval, 3-10cm long (1-3/16 - 4 in.) and 2-5cm (3/4 - 2 in.) wide. Tiny urn-shaped flowers that flare out into four lobes appear in clusters in the leaf axils. Blooming from fall to early winter, the flowers are brown, or creamy white or yellow with brown specks and up to 1cm (3/8 in.) long. Fruit is an oblong drupe, green at first maturing to a pinkish brown and covered with tiny dots. The fruit is about 1.5cm (~5/8 in.) long and borne on a short stalk 5-8mm (~1/4 in.) long.
The long flexible branches and silvery scales on the leaf undersides distinguish this species from most other plants.

 
Elaeagnus pungens is a member of the Elaeagnaceae - Oleaster family.

Other species of the Elaeagnus genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
  View  Elaeagnus umbellata - SILVERBERRY