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Autumn Olive

Scientific Name

Elaeagnus umbellata Thunb. (ITIS)

Common Name

Autumn olive, Elaeagnus, Oleaster, Japanese silverberry

Native To

Asia (Munger 2003)

Date of U.S. Introduction

1830 (Munger 2003)

Means of Introduction

Introduced as an ornamental; cultivated for wildlife habitat and erosion control (Fordham et al. 2003)


Displaces native species (Munger 2003)

Autumn olive
Image use policy

Autumn olive, twigs/shoots with thorns and leaves in April


Photo by James H. Miller; USDA, Forest Service

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  • Invasive Bradford Pear, 3 Other Species to be Banned for Sale in South Carolina

    • Jul 14, 2021
    • Clemson University.

    • South Carolina will become only the second state in the United States to ban the nursery sale of Bradford pear trees and any other pear trees grown on the commonly used Pyrus calleryana rootstock. The ban on sales will begin Oct. 1, 2024, which is the annual nursery licensing renewal date in South Carolina. Ohio will become the first state on Jan. 1, 2023, after passing regulations banning the sale of the species in 2018 with a 5-year grandfathering period. Additional information about the ban’s impact on homeowners can be found by visiting the Clemson University Home & Garden Information Center.

      The additions of Pyrus calleryana — or Callery pear — along with three species of Elaeagnus to the State Plant Pest List met the approval of state agency representatives and the director of Clemson’s Regulatory and Public Service Programs. The clock is now ticking on a grandfathering period of a little more than 3 years for the nursery industry to comply with the new regulations by ceasing sale of these plant species.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
State and Local Government
  • Fordham, I.M, R.H. Zimmerman, B.L. Black, B.M. Clevidence, and E.R. Wiley. 2003. Autumn olive: a potential alternative crop In: J. Maas (Ed.), XXVI International Horticultural Congress: Berry Crop Breeding, Production and Utilization for a New Century (Acta Horticulturae No. 626, pp. 429-431). Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science.

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Elaeagnus umbellata. [Accessed Aug 10, 2023].

  • Munger, G.T. 2003. Elaeagnus umbellata. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.