Elaeagnaceae Elaeagnus angustifolia

Tiny yellow flowers on a silvery green stem with long oval leaves.

Elaeagnus angustifolia

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

Pollinators: bees

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.

Last updated: February 13, 2022

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