Elaeagnus pungens 'HOSUBA FUKURIN'

Elaeagnus pungens
Elaeagnus pungens 'HOSUBA FUKURIN'
silverthorn, thorny olive
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES varigated:green and cream
FLOWERS less showy but noticeable
BLOOMING TIME September - October
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
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Thorny olive is a Japanese taxon and an evergreen species of silverthorn. It features large and in case of cultivated varieties mostly coloured foliage and 2-3 cm long thorns scattered along the twigs. In their natural habitat they were used especially in hedges as a natural barrier against animals. There are a few varieties that differ in leaf colour and habit, and in gardens down to USDA zone 6 they are grown more for their ornamental value than its prickly utility. It grows fast and responds well to pruning.

Hosuba Fukurin is a coloured variety in the evergreen silverthorn family. It has narrowly ovate to elliptic, glossy, evergreen, leathery, rich green leaves with creamy beige variegation at margins. They are covered with silver dots on the upper side and their reverse is entirely silver-grey. Young twigs and canes are orange-brown and have short, prickly thorns. In late summer and early autumn appear tiny flowers which are difficult to spot at the first sight but you can definitely smell them from a few meters. They have a lovely, sweet fragrance, especially on sunny afternoons and evenings. They are usually not followed by fruit.

Thorny olive grows fast but Hosuba Fukurin is not that wild when it comes to annual growth. It forms a rather evenly branched shrub about 1 meter tall and a little more wide in 10 years. Just like every evergreen silverthorn, its branches often reverse to its original genotype with solely green leaves. These need to be removed as soon as spotted because they are more vigorous than the coloured ones and might uncontrollably dominate the bush.

Silverthorn can be pruned in almost any manner at almost any time from spring till autumn. It is soil adaptable as it can fix nitrogen from atmosphere and distribute it to its roots. It only needs good winter mulching in our climate to protect surface roots from heavy frost. It will not live in boggy and wet conditions. This is a tough plant that is even grown in the warmest parts of Siberia, and if it manifests some damage after a harsh winter it readily regenerates from healthy wood. It is tolerant of exposed conditions, salt, extreme heat and drought, and withstands windy areas. Hardy to min. -23 °C (USDA zone 6).

Last update 02-11-2012; 20-08-2022

Elaeagnus x ebbingei
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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