Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Elaeagnus angustifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ElaeagnaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Shrub, tree, generally thorny, generally densely silvery-hairy throughout; hairs generally scale-like; occasionally +- dioecious. Leaf: simple, alternate or opposite, generally deciduous, entire; petiole generally short; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally umbel-like, axillary; flowers 1--few. Flower: radial; hypanthium rotate to salverform, fleshy in age, lower part generally constricted, persistent, with a nectary disk; sepals generally 4, +- petal-like; petals 0; anthers 4 or 8, +- sessile; ovary superior but appearing inferior, chamber 1, style 1. Fruit: achene enclosed in fleshy hypanthium, appearing drupe- or berry-like.
Genera In Family: 3 genera, +- 45 species: North America, Europe, Asia, eastern Australia; especially temperate, subtropics.
eFlora Treatment Author: Elizabeth McClintock, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ElaeagnusView Description 

Flower: hypanthium bell-shaped to salverform, lobes 4; stamens +- exserted; disk flask-shaped, enclosing base of style; stigma +- elongate, on 1 side of style.
Species In Genus: +- 40 species: North America, southern Europe, Asia. Etymology: (Greek: olive, chaste-tree)
Elaeagnus angustifolia L.
Habit: Plant < 7 m, occasionally thorny. Leaf: 4--8 cm, lanceolate to oblong, more silvery on abaxial surface. Flower: 5--10 mm, +- as wide at top, fragrant; hypanthium +- dark yellow inside, tube +- = lobes. Fruit: 10--20 mm, elliptic in outline, yellow.
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed, sometimes moist places; Elevation: generally < 2050 m. Bioregional Distribution: ScV, SnFrB, SnGb, SnBr, PR, GB, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: native to temperate Asia. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Cult as ornamental.
Synonyms: Elaeagnus angustifolius L., orth. var.
Jepson eFlora Author: Elizabeth McClintock
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Elaeagnus angustifolia

botanical illustration including Elaeagnus angustifolia


Citation for this treatment: Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Elaeagnus angustifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 01, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 01, 2020.

Elaeagnus angustifolia
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Elaeagnus angustifolia
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Elaeagnus angustifolia
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice

More photos of Elaeagnus angustifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Elaeagnus angustifolia:
ScV, SnFrB, SnGb, SnBr, PR, GB, DMoj
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).