Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Edible Wild Plants/Autumn Olive

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Autumn Olive

Description: Autumn olive is a small tree (or large shrub), growing 4-10 meters tall. The leaves are lanceolate, shiny green on the top with a silvery, powdery underside. The berries are about 6-7mm in diameter, bright red with speckles on them, growing in groups. They are very sweet.

Where found: Native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas east to Japan. It was introduced to North America where it has become an invasive species.

Availability: Fall

Use: When ripe, the fruit is juicy and edible. It can be eaten fresh or made into a jam. The fruit is small, extremely numerous, tart-tasting, and it has a chewable seed. It has been shown to have from 7 to 17 times the amount of the antioxidant lycopene that tomatoes have. Lycopene has been consistently shown to be useful in decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.
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