Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive)

Russian olive leaves

Leaf type: Linear, lanceolate
Phyllotaxis: Alternate

Leaf (upper side)

Oleaster leave

Russian olive leaves and flower buds
Leaves and flower buds at the end of April.

Leaf (underside)

Russian olive leaf bottom

Habitus & biology

The Russian olive, oleaster, wild olive or silver berry is a tree or shrub that can reach over five metres in height and sheds its leaves in autumn. It shows its yellow flowers from May to July.

Oleaster habitus

Distribution & habitates

The original distribution area is in Central Asia. As an ornamental plant, the Russian olive also found its way to Europe and North America, where it was able to establish itself in some regions (source).

Russian olive by the wayside

Elaeagnus angustifolia can be found on embankments, scrub edges, on dams, in parks and industrial wastelands.


The Russian olive is a member of the oleaster family (Elaeagnaceae) and not related to the olive (Olea europaea).

Russian olive Elaeagnus angustifolia