Silverleaf Buffaloberry vs. Russian Olive

(Elaeagnus angustifolia vs. Shepherdia argentea)

Silverleaf Buffaloberry, which is native to North America, and Russian Olive, which is non-native and considered invasive, are closely related and at first glance are hard to distinguish from one another. They have the same color leaves and grow in similar
areas, have thorns and can take on a shrub-like appearance. However, when you examine

them close up, you will find that Silverleaf Buffaloberry leaves are arranged in
opposite pairs and its thorns are oppositely arranged. Russian Olive has leaves arranged in alternate pairs and its thorns are alternately arranged. Russian Olives have silver berries that become tan as they mature while Silverleaf Buffaloberry have yellow or light orange berries that turn red late in the season. An excellent chart with great pictures explaining the difference between these two plants can be found at:

Submitted By: Elaine Allard