Silverberry, Wolfberry, Wolf Willow

Elaeagnus commutata

Family: Elaeagnaceae
Genus: Elaeagnus (el-ee-AG-nus) (Info)
Species: commutata (kom-yoo-TAH-tuh) (Info)



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:


Light Green


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Palmer, Alaska

Saint Augustine, Florida

Buford, Georgia

Tilton, New Hampshire

Belfield, North Dakota

Summerville, South Carolina

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is a gangly shrub with leaves that are brilliantly silvered on both sides, unlike those of E. umbellatus and E. angustifolia, which are olive green above. As the common name suggests, the fruit is silver and not reddish.

The foliage is beautiful, but the habit doesn't easily lend itself to garden use. It spreads underground by rhizomes and frequently suckers at a considerable distance from the parent plant.

It is native to Alaska, western and boreal Canada, and south into the Rockies and northern Great Plains. It does not long survive where summers are hot and humid.

Even in Boston, at the Arnold Arboretum this has been a slow grower.

I suspect that both comments below (and some of the geographic reports) are about different ... read more


On Apr 9, 2004, Bemhawk from Sterling, VA wrote:

I absolutly love this plant, but many people are under the misconception that deer will eat this plant instead of others. I have seen deer starve rather than eat this plant. Other than that, the foliage is just beautiful and it is a very fast grower.


On Jul 21, 2003, AlliLake from Portsmouth, NH wrote:

This plant grows like a weed all over New England along the side of the roads. As a bush it can get rather large and seems to spread. I trained one into a tree in front of my house. It has done wonderful. Withstanding winter salting from the plow trucks and reqular traffic. Keeping it at seven feet has fulled the tree out in a rounded manner. Great, strong odor in the spring. It has bothered people with allergies. I have not had any issues with the tree/bush spreading.