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Russian Olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Linnaeus)
Russian Olive Russian Olive Russian Olive
Paul Wray, Iowa State University

 

Commodities Affected:
Forestry and Natural Areas

 

Threat:

Russian olive can out-compete native vegetation, interfere with natural plant succession and nutrient cycling, and tax water reserves. Because Russian olive is capable of fixing nitrogen in its roots, it can grow on bare, mineral substrates and dominate riparian vegetation where overstory cottonwoods have died. Although Russian olive provides a plentiful source of edible fruits for birds, ecologists have found that bird species richness is actually higher in riparian areas dominated by native vegetation. Note – do not buy, sell, or plant Russian olive.

 

Distribution:

In 2002 (Overlease) reported Russian olive in Tippecanoe county.