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Elaeagnus orientalis - L.

Common Name Trebizond Date
Family Elaeagnaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats By streams and on river banks, to elevations of 3000 metres in Turkey[93].
Range W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Elaeagnus orientalis Trebizond Date

Elaeagnus orientalis Trebizond Date


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Elaeagnus orientalis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 12 m (39ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
It can fix Nitrogen.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


E. angustifolia orientalis.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[3, 105]. Sweet and mealy but of better quality than the closely related E. angustifolia[183]. Eaten fresh or made into sherbet and preserves. The fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent[K]. The oval fruit is about 10mm long and contains a single large seed[K]. Seed - raw or cooked. It can be eaten with the fruit though the seed case is rather fibrous[K].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers[214].


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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge

Plants can be grown as a hedge in exposed positions, tolerating maritime exposure.

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Hedge  Hedge  Nitrogen Fixer


Cultivation details

Succeeds in most soils that are well-drained[11, 200]. Prefers a soil that is only moderately fertile, succeeding in very poor soils and in dry soils[11, 200]. Established plants are very drought resistant[1]. Prefers a light sandy loam and a sunny position[11, 200]. Dislikes shallow chalk soils[98]. Very closely related to E. angustifolia and often considered to be no more than a sub-species of it[183], it does not flower so freely in Britain as that species[11]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[88, 200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. An excellent companion plant, when grown in orchards it can increase yields from the fruit trees by up to 10%. The flowers are very fragrant and are rich in nectar[183], they are much visited by bees. Occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties[183]. The fruit used to be commonly sold in the markets of Iran and Turkey but is rarely found there nowadays[183].


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Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[78]. It should germinate in late winter or early spring, though it may take 18 months[K]. Stored seed can be very slow to germinate, often taking more than 18 months. A warm stratification for 4 weeks followed by 12 weeks cold stratification can help[98]. The seed usually (eventually) germinates quite well[78]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pot as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out when they are at least 15cm tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 10 - 12cm with a heel, October/November in a frame[200]. The cuttings are rather slow and difficult to root, leave them for 12 months[113]. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Elaeagnus angustifoliaOleaster, Russian oliveShrub7.0 2-7 MLMHNDM424
Elaeagnus commutataSilverberryShrub3.0 2-6 MLMHNDM324
Elaeagnus cordifolia Shrub4.0 0-0 MLMHFSNDM523
Elaeagnus formosana Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNDM22 
Elaeagnus fragrans Shrub3.0 - MLMHNDM22 
Elaeagnus glabraGoat nippleShrub6.0 7-10 MLMHFSNDM423
Elaeagnus gonyanthes Shrub4.0 - MLMHNDM22 
Elaeagnus latifoliaBastard OleasterShrub3.0 8-11 MLMHNDM322
Elaeagnus macrophylla Shrub3.0 6-9 MLMHFSNDM523
Elaeagnus maritima Shrub6.0 -  LMHFSNDM22 
Elaeagnus montana Shrub4.0 - MLMHNDM22 
Elaeagnus multifloraGoumi, Cherry silverberryShrub3.0 5-9 MLMHSNDM523
Elaeagnus multiflora ovataGoumiShrub3.0 5-9 MLMHSNDM523
Elaeagnus oldhamii Shrub4.0 -  LMHSNDM22 
Elaeagnus parvifoliaAutumn oliveShrub4.5 3-7 MLMHNDM422
Elaeagnus pungensElaeagnus, Thorny olive, Thorny Elaeagnus, Oleaster, Silverberry, Silverthorn, Pungent ElaeagnusShrub4.0 6-10 MLMHFSNDM523
Elaeagnus pyriformis Shrub0.0 - MLMHNDM22 
Elaeagnus thunbergii Shrub3.0 -  LMHSNDM22 
Elaeagnus umbellataAutumn OliveShrub4.5 3-7 MLMHNDM423
Elaeagnus x ebbingeiElaeagnus, Ebbing's SilverberryShrub5.0 5-9 MLMHFSNDM524
Elaeagnus x reflexa Shrub4.5 6-9 MLMHFSNDM324
Elaeagnus yoshinoi Shrub5.0 -  LMHSNDM22 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Steve   Sun May 21 2006

Trebizonde Date Report, Elaeagnus orientals Curious about trebizonde date, I managed to find and order some online. Not easy...but go to persian foods sites....and look up "senjed" at The Iran Store site, or (Sadaf Gourmet Foods) which sells it as Mt. Ash Tree Fruit, which is apparently a common name for the fruit of Eleagnus orientalis in the mid-east, but does not refer to what we know as mt. ash. The dried fruit samples arrived and I have been munching on them since and will describe them here. I will attempt to sprout the seeds after one month refrigerated stratification. They do vaguely resemble dates in appearance. Rusty brown papery skinned fruits are 5/8 to 1" long by about 5/8 dia. Elongated narrow grooved date-like pit. Quite unlike eating a date however. Mildly sweet and not a bad flavor, but nothing to write home about. Mainly it is a textural experience as the dried fruit is very dry and powdery, with a fragmenting papery skin that one masticates, while trying to seperate the cottony pulp from the pit with his tongue and teeth. Easy to inhale the powdered flesh until you get it wet through mastication. There is enough pulp to give it substance, but the flavor and texture initially struck me as hardly worth eating... however, I must admit that they have been growing on me and I kind of enjoy them now. In fact Im eating some as I type, and I have found I can easily eat a dozon or so in a sitting and appreciate them just fine. Its a good nibbly experience, for those who like oral sensation, and the flavor is fair but nothing special. The powdery, mealy, papery, dry effect is something one must get accustomed to, but I can see how these might be a routine munching snack in areas where they are known, and certainly of high value as a famine food or something which will grow where little else is possible. The hardy, even invasive quality of the tree has some merit in the right locations. It certainly would be easy to grow where much else fails. I am quite sure the "King Red" Russian Olive is eleagnus orientalis (there is an HTML on it, and it was probably a selected strain of these Trebizonde dates from Afghanistan, though it was promoted for conservation use until determined to be quite invasive. I obtained some of these King Reds from Forest Farm in Oregon and will grow them

Mr. Mader   Mon Apr 16 2007

I just ordered some from Sadaf foods also, I'm going to try to stratify the seeds, I want to grow this in my back yard. I live in Schofield, WI. & we have very sandy soil. The fruit tastes good..........................

Mr. john   Tue Jun 17 2008

Are you sure if "senjed" are Elaeagnus fruit. Also dried Ziziphus jujuba fruit is sold under this name! The Turkey dried Elaeagnus fruit is sold unter the name "İğde". I am looking for a Elaegnus tree of any edible cultivar, like "Red King", "Sweet Scarlet",... with the best regards

Markus Bohr   Sun Aug 9 2009

Hi, The agroforestry research trust ( has both colutivars "Red King", "Sweet Scarlet" in its list for 2009/2010.

Matt Morgan   Mon Dec 14 2009

I am also looking for a tree to plant. The Trebizond date variety of Russian olive comes in cultivar '#1' and "#2' from One Green World.

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