Oleasters in New England consist of deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small trees. The leaves are simple, untoothed, and have small, silver and/or brown scales on their surface (sometimes so dense as to obscure a surface of the leaf). The leaves are alternate or opposite. The flowers are small and may grow alone or together in arrays. The flowers may have only pollen-bearing or only ovule-bearing parts, or both. There are 4 sepals and no petals. The sepals and stamens are fused at the base to form a structure called a hypanthium. In the pollen-bearing flowers, there are 4 or 8 stamens and the hypanthium is shaped like a saucer or cup. In ovule-bearing or bisexual flowers, the hypanthium is tube shaped and attaches below the ovary. The fruit is drupe-like or berry-like, with the mature fleshy hypanthium covering the true fruit.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key