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Elaeagnus pungens, Thorny Elaeagnus, Spotted Elaeagnus, Silverthorn
Elaeagnus pungens Variegata

Elaeagnus pungens

Thorny Elaeagnus, Spotted Elaeagnus, Silverthorn
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Origin: China, Japan
Large shrub 5-10 ftFull sunSemi-shadeModerate waterWhite/off-white flowersOrnamental foliageFragrantSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short timeSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Silverthorn is a huge sprawling shrub that shoots scores of long branchless stems into the air during the growing season. Leaves are green on top and covered with small brown scales, the undersides are lighter and ike the fruit and bark, the undersides are coated with silvery flecks.

These tiny flowers 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. The sweet fragrance of the flowers, reminiscent of gardenia, will delight in the autumn and winter garden.

Thorny elaeagnus is fast growing, easy to care for and 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.

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.

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