Elaeagnaceae, the oleaster family, is a plant family of the order Rosales comprising small trees and shrubs, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, south into tropical Asia and Australia. The family has ca 60 species in three genera.
They are commonly thorny, with simple leaves often coated with tiny scales or hairs. Most of the species are xerophytes (found in dry habitats); several are also halophytes, tolerating high levels of soil salinity.
The Elaeagnaceae often harbor nitrogen-fixing actinomycetes of the genus Frankia in their roots, making them useful for soil reclamation. This characteristic, together with their production of plentiful seeds, often results in Eleagnaceae being viewed erroneously as weeds.
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