Elaeagnus x ebbingei 'LEMON ICE'

Elaeagnus x ebbingei
Elaeagnus x ebbingei 'LEMON ICE'
evergreen silverthorn
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
 taller shrub
USUAL WIDTH 1.5-2.5m
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES varigated:green and yellow and light green
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 but well-drained
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
Hedging plants
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto
Evergreen silverthorn is a natural hybrid of e. macrophylla with large, evergreen, rather rounded leaves and vigorously growing e. pungens with narrower foliage and thorns. It is sometimes called Russian olive which is not correct as this name is already used for its deciduous sister e. angustifolia. It is described to have been discovered by a Dutch horticulturist Simon Doorenbos (1891-1980) who named it after another Dutch botanist J.W.E. Ebbinge in 1929. However, many years later it was pointed out that a Swiss botanist Camille Servettaz (1870-1947) found this mutation, too, and named it elaeagnus x submacrophylla already in 1909. In spite of that, the whole horticultural world still sticks to e. x ebbingei and we do, too, if you don’t mind.

If you are fond of variegated cultivars of evergreen silverthorns, e.g., Limelight, there is an improved version of it called Lemon Ice. It has slightly broader leaves and a more upright growth and bushier, more compact habit. The leaves have dark green margins and a light to medium deep yellow interior that can take up to 80% of the leaf surface. They are evergreen, leathery, glossy, and rather flat (not undulate). Young leaves emerge pale beige and exhibit tiny dots as if sprinkled with stardust. They are fully coloured withing approximately 4-6 weeks. Like most variegated plants, Lemon Ice silverthorn, too, occasionally produces reversed branches with green leaves. Those are more vigorous and need to be removed as soon as spotted as they might suffocate and overgrow the coloured part of the plant. The orange-brown color of the twigs is more pronounced with the arrival of cool autumn weather.

Silverthorns are valued not only for their colourful leaves and fast growth, but they also offer flowering in autumn. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, but their fragrance is from heaven. On warm and sunny autumn days, it releases a very pleasant and sweet scent, something between carnation, lilac and jasmine, in the area of a few meters around it. If the winter is mild, small, edible fruits ripen during May. They are deep red, approx. 1.5 cm long ovals with a stone. The taste is reminiscent of sour cherries but sweeter, and they are best when they start to fall off shrub – then they are fully mature.

Silverthorns are nice specimen shrubs as well as great hedging plants. Suitably combined with other shrubs with contrasting foliage colour they do a great job. Mix them together with photinias, laurels, large- and small-leaved hollies, or hardy eucalyptus. Together, they will create a unique, evergreen, and attractive hedge that will look great throughout the year.

Lemon Ice silverthorn grows quickly, 30-50 cm per year, and can be pruned in any way and anytime from spring to autumn. It is not demanding when it comes to soil fertility or pH. It just needs free-draining soil (no clay or heavy, compacted ground), and a good layer of mulch for the winter to prevent the ground from freezing too quickly. In regions with stronger frosts, we recommend growing it in winter shade. Still, even after severe winters, it readily regenerated from undamaged wood. It is hardy to min. -23 °C (USDA zone 6). Slightly lower temperatures can only kill its foliage but its woody framework usually remains unharmed. During frost-free periods of winter watering is recommended on too dry sites, especially of recently planted shrubs.

Last update 09-09-2022

Elaeagnus x ebbingei
Elaeagnus x ebbingei
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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