Friday, September 25, 2009

Autumn Elaeagnus

Sometimes an ID is just so darned exciting! This one's been in the works for weeks and I had finally decided upon Pin Cherry. Then last night, still feeling unsure, I went back to my trusty The Shrub Identification Book and worked through the basics--the absence of leaf serrations, back side leaf coloration, fruit size and color.

Now I can say with some confidence that here we have the Autumn Elaeagnus, Elaeagnus umbellata, also known as Autumn Olive. Alas, the alien species, native to China and Korea, is listed as a prohibited noxious weed species in Massachusetts. Here's the state's full noxious weed list.

So be it. I still consider it a beautiful shrub and I enjoyed photographing it on many recent occasions.


  1. Ok, you can ID it... but can you pronounce it? :-) I think I will be calling it Autumn Olive!
    I'm not sure if I have ever seen this 'weed' around our area, although truthfully, I now need to go back through my own journals and look more closely at what I have ID'd as pin cherry.
    Our foliage is turning fast- we have patches at full peak right now, and the undergrowth in the woods is looking mighty tired and scraggly.
    Canadian geese are landing in the cornfields and the starlings are doing their huge "flocking" aerobatics. My turtle eggs never hatched- but my neighbors had some hatch in October last year, so there is still hope.
    Art retreat week was wonderful and full of inspiration but it's SO nice to be back in my warm house- sleeping in tiny unheated cabins in the White Mts/ woods this time of year is a wee bit chilly!!

  2. I had a hard time spelling it! :-) I got keyed in to the ID after reading the phrase "fruit red, dotted with silver or brown scales; juicy".

    Same starling behavior here. When they're not in flight formations, they are lined up nicely on the telephone wires, chattering up a storm.

    Welcome back!