Plant Library

Variegated Silverberry

Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata'

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Variegated Silverberry (Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata') at Green Thumb Nursery

Variegated Silverberry

Variegated Silverberry

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Variegated Silverberry (Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata') at Green Thumb Nursery

Variegated Silverberry foliage

Variegated Silverberry foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Other Names:  Silverthorn


A large, dense evergreen shrub that is very adaptable and drought resistant; flower clusters in fall have a wonderful fragrance; dazzling variegated foliage; a great, fast growing landscape shrub that can be maintained as a screen or hedge

Ornamental Features

Variegated Silverberry has attractive dark green-variegated yellow foliage with hints of olive green on a plant with a mounded habit of growth. The glossy pointy leaves are highly ornamental and remain yellow throughout the winter. It features subtle clusters of fragrant creamy white bell-shaped flowers along the branches in early fall.

Landscape Attributes

Variegated Silverberry is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Variegated Silverberry is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Hedges/Screening
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Variegated Silverberry will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for xeriscaping or the moisture-conserving landscape. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for clay, alkaline soils, and is able to handle environmental salt. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Variegated Silverberry makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Screening  Naturalizing  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features