Elaeagnus Pungens: Off to an Early Start

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Thorny eleagnus (Elaeagus pungens), also known as silverthorn and thorny olive, is one of the most serious non-native invasive plant threats we encounter here in Eastern North Carolina. I was impressed by a sample dropped off to the office on March 16, showing nearly 3 feet of growth in a growing season that has barely started. We encourage you to become familiar with thorny eleagnus in 2021, and take steps to control any that have taken root on your property. Including any that you actually planted yourself at some point in the past. Yes, it’s that serious. See Going Native for information on thorny eleagnus and other invasive species of concern.
Thorny eleagnus

Closing in on three feet of growth, 3/16/21.

Silvery leaf

Silvery leaf underside provides a strong contrast with the glossy green upper leaf surface.

Thorn on stem

Stout, sharp thorns develop as the stems mature.