Autumn Olive

Botanical Name: Elaeagnus umbellata

Brief Description and Notes: Look for smooth, elongated, silvery foliage and clusters of 4-6 red silver-flecked berries in fall. Can grow up to 20 feet tall. White flowers appear in spring. 

Where To Look For It: Roadsides, pastures, abandoned farmland, edges of forests, disturbed lands; full to partial sun

Ornamental Value: Once a popular landscaping plant for its silvery leaves, abundance of fruit, and showy blooms, it is now recommended to NOT plant this species since it is invasive and readily found for foraging

Ecological Value & Roles: Birds enjoy the abundant fruit, and end up spreading the seed widely. Labeled as an invasive species, it can shade out native growth. 

Edibility and Other Human Use: Tart-sweet red berries, can be eaten raw or cooked as in jam or pie. 



Penn State Extension

Eat the Planet