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Dieren en planten

Oleaster family   Russian olive   Sea buckthorn   

Mens en Milieu

Russian olive


bush or tree: 5 to 7 meters


gray-green, yellow flowers, (ripe) fruit orange-red


flowers in early summer after 3 years


usually seed, sometimes underground roots



  • Dut: Smalle olijfwilg, Russische olijf, oleaster
  • Lat: Elaeagnus angustifolia
  • Eng: Russian olive, Russian silverberry, oleaster
  • Ger: Schmalblättrige Ölweide
  • Fre: Chalef
Russian olive, Schorrenwerkgroep Natuurpunt

Russian olive

Russian olive is not native to Western Europe. However, it has been around for centuries, often planted as an ornamental plant that has since grown wild. Its flowers are highly aromatic, its sweet fruit is edible, it is resistant to drought and it is an attractive plant. The fruit looks like olives and its branches and leaves are covered in silver-colored scales. This makes it easy to detect among other vegetation in the southern Dutch dunes or along the banks of the delta rivers. Russian olive blossoms with many light yellow flowers, which make delicious syrup for lemonade. The fruit is dried and mixed with milk in Iran as a remedy for joint pains.

  • Invasive species

    Russian olive originally came from Asia but has no problem growing elsewhere. First planted over the past centuries because it is so decorative, it now grows all over Europe and North America. It is very a hardy plant, surviving on poor soils, drought, marshy conditions, and even saline soils, wind and air pollution. And it produces many fertile seeds, to the point of easily competing with and dominating over native vegetation. The only demand Russian olive has is lots of light, preferably 100% sunlight.