Photo credit: Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, retrieved from Bugwood.org (Image Number: 5306027), used under CC BY-NC 3.0 US, modified from the original
Autumn olive is native to Asia and was brought to North America in 1830. It has been grown as an ornamental shrub, for food and cover for livestock, and as a windbreak.
Autumn olive can grow into dense thickets and out-compete native vegetation. It also has nitrogen-fixing roots that can change the nutrient cycle in the soil making it difficult for native species to grow.
Autumn olive is a deciduous shrub that grows up to 4 m tall. The flowers are fragrant and have four white or light yellow sepals.
The characteristically silvery single leaves have smooth, wavy edges and are egg-shaped (2-7 cm x 1-2 cm).
Autumn olive fruits are 1 cm long, red and juicy with silver dots. The branches have single thorns and young twigs are silvery.