Elaeagnus pungens
Common name: 
Thorny Elaeagnus
Thorny Silverberry
Pronunciation: 
e-le-AG-nus PUN-jenz
Family: 
Elaeagnaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub, 10-15 ft (3-4.5 m) high, equal spread, dense spreading, irregular habit (esp. in shade).  Branches brown, with thorns, 5-8 cm long.  Leaves alternate, simple, oblong-elliptic, 5-10 cm long, margins entire and undulate, tip acute, base wedge-shaped, glossy dark green above, dull silvery below with clear or brown scales (spots) giving a silver sheen, major veins are brown.  Flowers perfect, silvery white, usually 3 in the leaf axils, fragrant, 12 mm long, tubular, appear in late fall or early winter.  Fruit 1.5-2 cm long, brown at first and then red.
  • Sun to part shade.  Less dense in shade.  Adaptable to varied soils and can withstand considerable drought.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 6     Native to Japan.
  • There are several variegated cultivars in the nursery trade, a popular form is 'Maculata'; and an another selection is 'Clemson Variegated'.
  • Caution: Elaeagnus pungens can become weedy and invasive; it is considered an invsive species in several states in the southeastern U.S..
  • pungens: sharp, spiny, refers to thorns.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: northeast corner of Reed Lodge on Jefferson Ave. near 35th St.  It is a reversion of the cultivar 'Maculata'.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leaf

    leaf

  • leaf, underside

    leaf, underside

  • leaf surfaces

    leaf surfaces

  • new leaves

    new leaves

  • fruit

    fruit

  • thorns

    thorns