Elaeagnus angustifolia is a shrub to 10 m tall, usually thorny; young twigs pale, silvery, older stems glossy dark brown.
Leaves alternate, 3-7 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, narrowly lance-shaped, dull silvery-green scaly above, densely pale-silvery-scaly below (Dirr 1990).
Flowers yellow, 4-parted, about 1 cm wide, radially symmetrical, fragrant.
Fruit yellow to red sprinkled with silvery scales, 1 cm, 1-seeded; seeds bird dispersed.
Wetland status: FACU.
Frequency in NYC: Occasional.
Habitat: Escaped from plantings along highways, into old fields, open areas in dry, low nutrient soil, pH 6-9.5 (USDA, NRCS 2011).
Notes: Pioneer species. Resprouts vigorously after burning or cutting. Roots have nitrogen-fixing nodules. Shades out and displaces native plants (Young 1996).