Elaeagnus × ebbingei
Common Name: oleaster
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: October to November
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-9 where it is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Also tolerates shade. Best in light, sandy loams in full sun. Established plants have good drought tolerance. This is a vigorous, fast-growing shrub that tolerates a wide variety of soils including poor infertile ones. Avoid both poor dry soils and moist clays. Avoid wet, poorly drained soils. Propagate by cuttings. This hybrid will not come true from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Elaeagnus x ebbingei, commonly called oleaster or Ebbing's silverberry, is a cross between Elaeagnus macrophylla x Elaeagnus pungens. It is a large, bushy, rounded shrub that typically grows to 8-10' tall and as wide. Branchlets lack spines. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates, but semi-evergreen to deciduous near the northern edge of its growing range. When young, its leathery, elliptic, leaves (to 4" long) are green with silver scales. With age, leaf surfaces turn lustrous dark green above but remain silver gray beneath. Apetalous creamy white flowers (to 1/4" long) bloom in axillary clusters in late fall. Flowers are not particularly showy, but are intensely fragrant. Small, one-seeded, reddish-brown fruits (drupes to 1/2" long) typically ripen in spring. Fruits are edible.

Genus name comes from the Greek words elaia meaning the olive tree and agnos meaning chaste-tree.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. This shrub is generally considered to be easy to cultivate. Fungal leaf spot and rust may occur. Watch for spider mites.

Garden Uses

Large background plant. Screen, barrier or windbreak. Hedge. Accent in shrub border. Along highways. Erosion control.