Smooth oleaster is often described as a shrub, but it’s not a typical shrub; it’s best described as a climbing shrub or a sarmentose shrub (Dr. Jim Croft’s Botanical Glossary defines sarmentose as “producing long, flexuose runners or stolons”). The long, extending branches act in a vine-like fashion, scrambling up nearby trees and hooking onto tree limbs. The second photograph shows a branch that has flopped away from the main plant, seeking outward to find yet another victim to climb up; the growing tip of the branch is to the left of the image. If the branch were upright, the small hook-like branchlet in the centre of the photograph would be pointing down, perfect for latching on and supporting the vine-like branch.
Douglas Justice describes the tubular flowers of smooth oleaster as “intensely fragrant – gardenia-like with a hint of orange blossom” (and they were). I should add that it took quite a few sessions to capture an acceptable image of the flowers, as the glossy foliage in poor light conditions kept on throwing off the exposure settings with the small point-and-shoot camera I was using at the time.
Botany resource link: Plants and Us is a top-notch site that simply and directly presents the utility of plants in a number of categories with “top ten lists”, e.g., the top ten in plants and economics. If anyone ever says to you, “But plants are boring! What good are they?”, direct them to the Plants and Us site.