Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Silverthorn, Thorny Olive, Thorny Silverberry
Elaeagnus pungens 'Fruitlandii'

Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Elaeagnus (el-ee-AG-nus) (Info)
Species: pungens (PUN-gens) (Info)
Cultivar: Fruitlandii

3 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By zsnp
Thumbnail #1 of Elaeagnus pungens by zsnp

By mgarr
Thumbnail #2 of Elaeagnus pungens by mgarr

By pseudosun
Thumbnail #3 of Elaeagnus pungens by pseudosun


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive wormfood On Jan 13, 2009, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Love this bush. I let it grow wild up into the trees which takes up alot of room. The "thorn" is a backwards growing branch that grabs onto an upper branch of a taller tree. If you decide to trim the silverthorn into a hedge you'll have trouble getting the branches out of the tree. If you cut them in fall, by springtime they can be pulled out because they die and become brittle. These bushes saved us from any wind damage during the 2004 hurricanes and the cardinals nest in them and are very well protected. When I trim a branch it is only to get it to grow in another direction. I cut close to a leafbud that is facing the direction I want.

Positive zsnp On Jun 8, 2005, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a very nice evergreen shrub. Actually, Silverthorn does not have thorns. This plant is highly drought tolerant and can grow really fast. It tolerates air pollution, salt spray, and poor soil. The fruits are edible. Landscape designers love to use this plant for screening purposes.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cullman, Alabama
Brooksville, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Thonotosassa, Florida
Ledbetter, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Biloxi, Mississippi
Edmond, Oklahoma
Spicewood, Texas

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