Eleaagnaceae : Oleaster Family


Scientific Name:

Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Dicoteldonae (two seed-leaves)

Family: Elaeagnaceae

Genera: 2

Species: 2

Elaeagnus commutata (Silverberry)

Shepherdia canadensis (Soapberry)

English Name(s):

Oleaster Family

Gwich'in Name:

Family Traits


  • Shrubs (ours)or small trees.
  • Leaves simple, margins entire (smooth).
  • Flowers in clusters from the leaf axils. Without petals.
  • Ovary inferior (within receptacle) and with one carpel (female part).
  • Fruit are drupe-like; are formed by a dry indehiscent(not opening) achene surrounded by the fleashy persistent (not falling off) perianth (sepals + petals).

Natural History:

  • All species are native to the northern hemisphere.

Family Size:


Genera: 3

Species: 50

North America:

Genera: 3

Species: ?


Genera: 2

Species: 2

Illustrated Key To Family

Note: Move cursor over image for note on what to look for. Click on image to enlarge.

Elaeagnus commutata (Silverberry)

Shepherdia canadensis (Soapberry)

Dicotomous Key To Family


Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster/Silverberry)

Sheperdia (Buffaloberry)

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