Elaeagnus pungens

(Thorny Olive)

By January 19, 2023
privacy hedge called Elaeagnus pungens, Thorny Olive, with small white flowers and olive green leaves

About Elaeagnus pungens (Thorny Olive)

This tough evergreen shrub is known as Elaeagnus pungens. Commonly known as Thorny Olive, this large bush grows quickly reaching an average mature landscape size of 8-11′ tall by 8-11′ wide. Not only notable for its size and quick growth, it is also suitable for harsh seaside conditions, below freezing temperatures, occasional neglect and extreme heat. Its interesting foliage first emerges as silver in color then grows into a sharp olive green with contrasting brown undersides. In the fall, fragrant white flowers begin to bloom followed by red-brown fruit.

This plant is also known by other common names which include Silverthorn and Spiney Oleaster.

Care and planting instructions

Plant Thorny Olive in an area that receives full sun to partial shade using well draining soil. Water regularly after planting to help establish its roots, then reduce frequency to once weekly. For a more compact plant or for a manicured look, prune back branches in the late winter. Once established, this plant is drought tolerant.

Landscape design ideas

Elaeagnus pungens makes an excellent privacy screen or border hedge. Its flowers bloom late in the year making it a great addition for those who look for staggered blooming throughout the year.

Botanical Name: Elaeagnus pungens

Common Name: Thorny Olive

Average Landscape Size: 8-11' x 8-11'

Plant Type: Evergreen

Bloom Color: White

Berry Color: Red-brown

Foliage Color: Silver green

Forms: Bush

Sizes: 1 & 5 gallon

Special Features: Attracts Birds, Drought Tolerant, Low Maintenance, Year-round Interest, Hedging Plant, Tolerates Light Frost,