Family: Elaeagnaceae – Oleaster Family
This is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park. Usually thorny tree; 16.5' to 39.6' (5 to 12 m) tall
Leaves: alternate; simple; linear, silvery; 0.8” to 3.6” (2 to 9 cm) long, 0.2” to 1.52” (5 to 38 mm) wide
Flowers: borne in axillary clusters; no petals; yellow or yellow-green sepals (generally 4); 4 stamens; very fragrant; silvery flowers 0.32” to 0.48” (8 to 12 mm) long
Fruits: achene, drupe-like, densely covered with white scales, at full maturity dull orange-yellow with only scattered scales
Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June
Habitat in Arches National Park: widespread in moist sites; cultivated shade tree
Location seen: Colorado River, outside Arches National Park on Mill Creek walkway in Moab, Utah
Other: The genus name, “Elaeagnus”, is from the Greek “elaia” meaning “olive” and "agnos" meaning “pure”, possibly referring to the fruit. The species name, “angustifolia”, means “narrow leaf”.
This plant, native of Eurasia , is grown as an ornamental and now it has escaped. It lives in moist areas. There are nitrogen-fixing bacteria in nodules on the roots.