NATIVE RANGE: East Asia
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 1945
POSSIBLE TO FIND: year-round
FLOWERING SEASON: September-November
DESCRIPTION: An evergreen shrub or a small tree, sometimes a scrambling climber, quickly growing thickly over nearby shrubs and trees. Twigs often bearing thorns, 5–8 cm long. Leaves alternate, simple, thick, oval to lanceolate. Shiny green above, covered below with minute silvery and brown scales. Flowers pale yellow to white, bell-shaped, lacking petals, appearing in late autumn. Fruits, an oval berry-like achene, 1.5 cm long, red with silvery scales, containing one seed.
HABITAT: In its natural range it grows on open slopes in thickets and along roadsides, often near the sea.
STATUS: Only a few records throughout Europe. Found locally in forests in the Submediterranean part of Slovenia. Commonly grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) has narrower, linear or lanceolate leaves with longer petioles. The underside of leaves is silvery grey but without brown spots. Trunk, buds and leaves are covered with tiny silvery-brown scales. Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) has similarly thick, evergreen leaves, which are elliptical to lanceolate, green on both sides and have undulating margins.