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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Genus: Elaeagnus (oleaster, silverberry genus)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Rosales > Family: Elaeagnaceae

About 50-70 species, mainly native to Asia but the distribution does extend south to Australia and into North America. Five species and a hybrid are cultivated in southern Africa.

Species cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).

Elaeagnus angustifolia (Oleaster, Russian silverberry, Russian-olive, Trebizond date)

Native from southern Europe to India.


Elaeagnus macrophylla

Native to Japan and Korea.


Elaeagnus multiflora (Cherry silverberry, Gumi)

Native to China, Korea and Japan.


Elaeagnus pungens (Silverthorn)

Native to Japan.


Elaeagnus umbellata (Japanese silverberry, Autumn-olive)

Native from India to Japan.


Elaeagnus x ebbingei

A hybrid resulting from the crossing of Elaeagnus macrophylla and Elaeagnus pungens.




  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.