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Elaeagnus pungens
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

silverthorn

A strong-growing, wide-spreading evergreen shrub, to 5m in height, with some spiny, but mainly spineless branches. Leaves, are green and glossy above and matt white underneath, with brown scales. Clusters of small but extremely-fragrant, silvery-cream flowers are borne in autumn, followed by oval red fruits

Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Sand
Loam
Clay
Chalk
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Neutral, Acid, Alkaline
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green White Red
Summer Green White
Autumn White Green White
Winter Green White
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing or North–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered or Exposed
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Elaeagnaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Elaeagnus can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small trees, with simple, often silvery-scaled leaves, and small fragrant tubular flowers borne in clusters in the leaf axils, and followed by small juicy fruit

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any well-drained soil, except shallow chalk, in sun or partial shade. Is especially useful as a heding or screening plant in coastal areas

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Coastal
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 9

Pests

Generally pest-free but may be susceptible to elaeagnus sucker

Diseases

May be susceptible to coral spot or leaf spot (fungal) see leaf damage on woody plants

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