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Russian Olive

Scientific Name

Elaeagnus angustifolia L. (ITIS)

Common Name

Russian olive, oleaster

Native To

Eurasia (Zouhar 2005)

Date of U.S. Introduction

Exact date unknown; was introduced to the central and western U.S. by the early 1900s (Zouhar 2005)

Means of Introduction

Introduced as a horticultural plant (Zouhar 2005)


Crowds out native species (Zouhar 2005)

Russian Olive
Image use policy

Russian olive, foliage and flowers


Photo by Dave Powell; 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
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Elaeagnus angustifolia. [Accessed Sep 22, 2023].

  • Zouhar, K. 2005. Elaeagnus angustifolia. In: Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory.