A thorny olive from Mark in SC

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On my 85 acres I located this massive “weeping Holly bush” about 8′ tall and 20′ wide from a cluster of 2-3″ trunks. It could be native or from a very old abandoned homesite(no trace of a home). The bush is in a lower, area shaded by woods. I am just east of Williamston, SC near the Saluda River.
Please let me know if you can identify.
Thank you,
Mark Marienfeld
Hi Mark,

your shrub is a non-native plant, named Elaeagnus pungens, which has escaped in various parts of South Carolina and elsewhere.  It is often called thorny olive, and is usually not as invasive as the autumn olive, a relative.  It is not related to the true olive.  You can find out more about it here: http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Elaeagnus+pungens



Steve Hill, Botanist, SCNPS

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