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Hardiness: USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 °C (-30 °F) USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 °C (-25 °F) USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F) USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun
Danger: Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Bloom Color: Pale Yellow
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Soil pH requirements: 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: Scarify seed before sowing
Seed Collecting: Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
On Apr 28, 2013, zorba45 from Richfield, OH wrote:
This is a beatifull plant that resembles the true olive tree. In spring it produces many small white flowers with a strong, frangrant scent.In late summer and early fall, thousands of little red berries ripen with a sweet/tangy taste that is a cross between sour cherries and pomegranate. Many birds love the berries--especially wild turkey. This tough, drought resistent shrub also works as a thick privacy screen in full sun to semi shaded areas. It can also be transplanted very easily.
On Oct 13, 2008, Sunflower1888 from Manassas, VA wrote:
After the city removed a rather large dead tree from our side yard I noticed shoots at the base of the stump. Those shoots have grown into an Autumn Olive shrub that is easily 15' tall. I had never seen one of these shrubs and certainly never experienced their intoxicating scent. The perfume fills our block in the springtime.
Only recently did I discover the identity of my shrub. For years I referred to it as The Honey Bush because of the sweet scent. Bees congregate on the shrub when it is in bloom ( late April/early May ). I have never noticed the shrub bearing fruit and there have been no issues with invasiveness. While the shrub has grown to be quite tall it has not multiplied.
I love this shrub for its' fragrance and its' independence. It flourishes when I ignore it :) My only regret is that it doesn't bloom longer. At our home away from home in South Carolina I have discovered the Tea Olive. Very similar scent, not as heady, and it blooms in the fall.
On Oct 12, 2008, GojiGirl from Newport Center, VT wrote:
It is hard to believe that some people say that this plant is unattractive, what is not attractive about it? Even tough it is not supposed to be here, it is a very useful plant. It is very gorgeous especially its unique berries with their silver scales. The foliage is also very beautiful. I would love to add it to a flower bed any day. The berries make good pancake topping or to add tart to a smoothie.
Autumn Olive was introduced to the US in the 1830's. It's native to Korea, Japan, and China. We used this plant to stabilize and revegetate road banks and also for strip mine reclamation. We also used this plant in our yards to create food and cover for wildlife although we now know better choices were available. We didn't know as much about this plant back then when we subscribed to these practices. Basically, Autumn Olive spreads aggressively and has caused serious ecological damage just as the Russian Olive has done. They fix nitrogen in the soil which disrupts native plant communities that thrive in infertile environments.
This being said, Elaeagnus umbellata is listed on the noxious weed lists of 45 states. Good news is that young seedlings and saplings can be easily pulled by hand after the spring rains come to loosen up the soil. More mature plants are also relatively easy to destroy. I cut them down to about 12" and paint the stump with readily available Round Up concentrate. If the plant suckers up again, it's easy to go back and take another swipe at the stump by taking it down to about 6" and repainting the exposed surface with Round Up concentrate again. Garlon 4 has worked well for me also.
On Apr 17, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:
This bush also makes a wonderful hedge and wildlife shelter. It is a natural feeding station and nesting place for many songbirds. In autumn, the branches are covered with bright red berries which the birds love.
On Jun 8, 2003, Hogwaump from Rosedale, WV (Zone 7b) wrote:
Easy to transplant, very hardy. The fruit are someaht tart when ripe, but quite edible and useful for jam & wine. The fruit contain about 10 times the lycopene content of tomatoes, and efforts are under way to farm them as a health food. It does spread easily, apparently by seeds carried by birds and other animals who eat the fruit whole, so ranchers don't much care for it. Nitrogen-fixing, thrives in poor soils, alkali and salt tolerant. Seeds collected need to be frozen for a month or more and treated with bird excrement or clorox or muriatic acid to weaken the seed coat.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Weismain, Atmore, Alabama Chandler, Arizona Oakland, California San Francisco, California Dayville, Connecticut Lake Charles, Louisiana Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland Valley Lee, Maryland Brockton, Massachusetts Sedalia, Missouri Ellsworth, New Hampshire Society Hill, New Jersey Dallas, North Carolina Franklin, North Carolina Jaars, North Carolina Raleigh, North Carolina Walnut Cove, North Carolina Richfield, Ohio Brooksville, Oklahoma Memphis, Tennessee Lexington, Virginia Manassas, Virginia Merrimac, Virginia Newport News, Virginia Sterling, Virginia Wytheville, Virginia Grantsville, West Virginia Liberty, West Virginia Rosedale, West Virginia Pewaukee, Wisconsin