Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Elaeagnus umbellata
Thunb., Elaeagnaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  yes

Risk assessment results:  High risk, score: 13 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Elaeagnus parvifolia Wall. ex Royle

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: niu nai zi

English: autumn elaeagnus, autumn olive, oleaster, spreading oleaster

Habit:  shrub

Description:  "Deciduous shrubs 2-4 m tall; branches slender, spreading, more or less spiny, the young branches densely scaly.  Leaves elliptic to ovate-oblong, 4-8 cm long, 1-2 (-2.5) cm wide, upper surface sparsely white lepidote, lower surface densely white lepidote, apex acute to sometimes obtuse, petioles 0.5-1 cm long, densely white lepidote.  Flowers 1-7 in axillary umbels, densely white lepidote, pedicels 3-6 (-8) mm long, elongating up to 12 mm long in fruit; hypanthium slender, gradually narrowed at base, 5-7 mm long; calyx lobes narrowly ovate, ca 3-5 mm long.  Fruit red, fleshy, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, 6-8 mm long"  (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 588).

Habitat/ecology:  "Grass- and woodland, disturbed sites.  This fast growing shrub spreads rapidly in mesic to wet habitats and disturbed areas.  It forms dense thickets displacing native vegetation and preventing the growth and regeneration of native plants.  The shrub resprouts quickly after burning or cutting.  The plant is nitrogen-fixing and grows well in soils of low fertility"  (Weber, 2003; p. 150).  "Autumn olive grows rapidly into an impenetrable, thorny thicket, usurping space from more valuable species.  The shrub can dominate almost any landscape type, from fencerows to meadows to open woods, even sand dunes and mine spoils"  (Sternberg, 1996; p. 149).

In Hawai‘i, "originally cultivated but now sparingly naturalized and spreading in mesic to wet disturbed areas" in Volcanoes National Park (approximately 5,000 ft. elevation) (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 588). 

Propagation:  "A single plant can produce 200,000 seeds each year, which are spread widely by birds" (Sternberg, 1996; p. 149).

Native range:  Asia from Afghanistan to Japan; cultivated and naturalized elsewhere (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 50)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 588)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 44457 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Thickets; (100-)500-3000 m. Gansu, Hubei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang.
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canada (except British Colombia)
Canada
Canada (country) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Ontario
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control:  Additional control information from the Bugwood Wiki.

Physical: Pull young seedlings. The seed source(s) must be located and destroyed for long-term control.

Chemical: "Larger individuals are cut and the cut stumps treated with glyphosate.  basal applications of triclopyr applied in early spring are also effective"  (Weber, 2003; p. 150).

Additional information:
Autumn olive (Eleagnus umbellata) factsheet (PDF format) from Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation's invasive plant species list
Information from the Bugwood Wiki.
Information from "Invasive plants of Asian origin established in the United States and their natural enemies, volume 1" (PDF format).
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
Information from the publication "Nonnative invasive plants of Southern forests: A field guide for identification and control".
Information from the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual.
Species profile from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Invasive Species Information Center.

Additional online information about Elaeagnus umbellata is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Elaeagnus umbellata as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Elaeagnus umbellata may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Miller, James H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of Southern forests: A field guide for identification and control. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. 93 p.

Randall, J. M./Marinelli, J. (eds.). 1996. Invasive plants: weeds of the global garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Handbook 149. 111 pp.

Raulerson, L. 2006. Checklist of Plants of the Mariana Islands. University of Guam Herbarium Contribution 37:1-69. .

U. S. Government. 2013. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (on-line resource).

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawaii. Revised edition. Bernice P. Bishop Museum special publication. University of Hawai‘i Press/Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. 1919 pp. (two volumes).

Weber, Ewald. 2003. Invasive plants of the World. CABI Publishing, CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 548 pp.

Zheng, Hao/Wu, Yun/Ding, Jianqing/Binion, Denise/Fu, Weidong/Reardon, Richard. 2004. Invasive plants of Asian origin established in the United States and their natural enemies, volume 1. FHTET-2004-05. U.S. Forest Service, Morgantown.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 20 APR 2013.