Monday, March 26, 2007

Russian Olive Trees

Russian Olive Tree (Elaeagnus angustifolia) was my first subject, since I have one in my backyard. They grow in virtually all parts of the USA and Canada, so many of you may have access to these beautiful, fragrant trees.
Leaves: These were a big hit with my crabs! They ate dried leaves, fresh leaves, frozen leaves equally well.
Bark: I could not tell whether the bark had been eaten or not, but the crabs did not avoid the piece I put in the aquarium. They used it as a climbing toy.
Blossoms: The small yellow blossoms, though fragrant, did not impress my crabs and I do not think that any of them were eaten whatsoever.
"Olives": The foamy flesh was stripped off and eaten, but the seeds were left alone. This could be because my crabs are too small to open the seed itself.

This plant is very invasive and many states control or prevent its presence. Deer eat the new, green branches and birds eat the seeds and "olives."

CAUTION: These have 2"-long thorns so harvest with care!

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