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

Elaeagnus pungens

Thorny Elaeagnus, Spotted Elaeagnus, Silverthorn
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Origin: China, Japan
USDA Zone: 7-9?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapLarge shrub 5-10 ft tallSemi-shadeFull sunModerate waterOrnamental foliageWhite, off-white flowersFragrant plantSubtropical or temperate zone plant. Mature plant cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short timeSeaside, salt tolerant plant

For optimal growth, silverthorn requires at least 6 hours of direct sun each day, though it will also tolerate semi-shade. Water regularly at first, until the plant is established. Thereafter it can tolerate very dry conditions. Silverthorn is also able to withstand temperatures as low as 30 F (1 C) for a short period of time, but cold hardy varieties with lower tolerances are available.

For those who want to grow silverthorn in colder regions, keeping the plant in a pot provides an additional layer of insulation. Overwintering in an unheated garden shed or garage is also an option for more hardy specimens. Remove the plant from its pot, shake off any excess soil and place the roots right on the ground if planting in this manner. To avoid damaging the delicate roots, gently tease the tangled roots apart with your finger tips. The plant should then be covered with a thick layer of mulch or straw to insulate it.

Silverthorn makes an attractive addition to any garden with its ornamental foliage, fragrant flowers, and salt-tolerance. Fast growing and undemanding, this reliable evergreen is a valuable addition to warmer climates, as well as colder areas where it can be grown in a container or overwintered in a shed.

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