Elaeagnus pungens - Thunberg
Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster) Family
Leaves are alternate, evergreen, petiolate, leathery, oblong to lanceolate in outline, with undulate margins. The petiole is covered in brown scales. The upper side of the leaf is glabrous and dark to yellowish green in color. The lower surface of the leaf is whitish and is covered with tan to brownish scales.
Flowers are funnelform and produced in clusters in the axils of the leaves during the winter. The flowers have brown scaly peduncles; yellowish-white in color and have a sweet scent. Flowers usually occur in late November and will continue to flower until February of the following year.
The fruit is an oblong drupe with a single large seed. The drupe is red or orange in color with silvery scales.
Thorny Olive is often planted as a dense barrier to foot or vehicle traffic and to screen unsightly areas. The fruit are consumed by birds which spread the seeds over a large area. Portions of the stem that come into contact with the soil will root.