autumn olive


: a deciduous large shrub or small tree (Elaeagnus umbellata) that is native to Asia and has silvery young leaves, pale yellow flowers in umbels, and silvery, berrylike fruits which turn red in autumn

Note: The autumn olive has become widely naturalized in eastern North America and is now often considered an invasive species.

Not long ago conservation districts distributed autumn olive as a beneficial habitat plant. … But birds spread the seeds, which produce more autumn olives that take over more native plant habitat.Andy Tomolonis, Boston Herald, 18 Apr. 1999

Word History

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of autumn olive was in 1951

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Cite this Entry

“Autumn olive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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