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Elaeagnus pungens

Pronunciation: El-ee-ag-nus pun-gens
Family: Elaeagnaceae (oleaster family)
Common Name: Thorny elaeagnus, spotted elaeagnus, silverthorn
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 15
Width to: 20
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • late autumn
  • early winter
Bloom Description: Thorny elaeagnus, as it is also called, is a big and beautiful broad-leafed evergreen shrub. In the late fall and early winter it produces scores of flowers that are cream colored, bell shaped, about 0. 25 in (0. 6 cm) long and are held in small clusters where the leaf joins the stem. To call them drab and nondescript is an understatement. Yet they can grab your attention from hundreds of yards away with their seriously strong-scented but delightfully appealing fragrance.
Soil Type: Tolerant of a wide variety of conditions. Water when dry for best growth, but silverthorn is able to withstand drought even in light sandy soil. Constantly wet, soggy soil will kill.
  • Yes
Plant Perks:
  • Fragrant
  • Container Gardening
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Propagated by softwood or hardwood cuttings and by seed.
Native to: China and japan
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata silverthorn responds well to pruning and makes an excellent evergreen hedge and barrier. It is often planted along highways and is useful in controlling soil erosion. This adaptable plant is tolerant of salt spray and so is a good choice for coastal locations. In cooler climates, silverthorn is grown in containers and moved indoors when winter approaches. The sweet fragrance of the flowers, reminiscent of gardenia, will delight in the autumn and winter garden (it reminds me of the perfume the old ladies wore to church when i was a kid). Silverthorn is very easy to grow and is bothered by few pests. Best of all it is a very fast grower - perfect for quickly creating a green background at the edge of your property. Place it on an expanse of lawn to create a great mound of wildlife habitat. The dense tangle of stems provide perfect sites for nests and the small red fruits will feed hungry songbirds during the winter. Be warned, however, silverthorn is not a good shrub for small areas as it will require constant pruning to keep in bounds - select one of the dwarf cultivars for tight spaces.
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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