Abstract Changes in the chemical components of the ripening fruits of Elaeagnus multiflora var. gingantea and E. umbellata, were examined. In the pulp of the fruits, the sugars present, glucose and fructose, increased remarkably with a concomittant decrease in the titrable acidity. Polyphenols, predominantly composed of associated tannins, markedly diminished. In the stone, the contents of the sugars and polyphenols remained constant. L-Ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in the pulp diminished. The fall in L-ascorbic acid is unusual and is paralleled by a fall in the tannin materials.