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a genus of deciduous or evergreen trees or shrubs of the family Elaeagnaceae. The flowers are bisexual or unisexual, often four-parted, and fragrant; they are solitary or in groups of two or three in the axils. The fruit is drupaceous, mealy, and usually edible. There are more than 50 species, distributed in Asia, Southern Europe, North America, and Australia. Five species are found in the USSR, growing wild in the Caucasus and Middle Asia. Oleaster, or Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolid), a low, spiny tree with silvery elliptic leaves that sometimes grows wild, is cultivated as an ornamental, as is the hardiest North American species E. argentea. In the south, local varieties with large edible fruits are cultivated. These plants, which are used in landscaping and as a windbreak for fields, are valued for their fruit, medicinal substances, resins, tannins, and essential oils. They produce good lumber and are rich in nectar.
REFERENCESIakovlev-Sibiriak, I. I. Oblepikha i lokh, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1954.
Kozlovskaia, N. V. “Obzor vidov roda Elaeagnus L, vstrechaiushchikhsia na territorii SSSR.” In Trudy Botanicheskogo Instituta AN SSSR, series 1, 1958, issue 12.
V. N. GLADKOVA