Scientific: Elaeagnus pungens
Common: bronze elaeagnus
Family: Elaeagnaceae
Origin: China, Japan

Pronounciation: El-ee-AG-nus PUN-gens

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 4-24
USDA 7-11

Landscape Use: Background, barrier, screen, informal hedge, informal filler, foliar accent.

Form & Character: Evergreen, upright and sprawling shrub, informal, wild, out of control.

Growth Habit: Moderate growth rate to 10 to 15 feet with equal spread, often produces long arching and sprawling branches. Overall, it may be maintained at 1/2 of this size with regular pruning.

Foliage/texture: Leaves ovate to oblong to 3 inches long, taper to a point, silvery on abaxial side, adaxial side with brown scales giving bronze caste, sometimes with wavy leaf margins and prominent stipular spines; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Inconspicuous flowers, fruit a small and round, edible when red ripe in the fall.

Seasonal color: Mostly none, though fruit are displayed in the fall (not very ornamental).

Temperature: Very hardy

Light: Partial shade to full sun.

Soil: Regular

Watering: Regular to infrequent deep irrigations. Use irrigation frequency to control growth rate.

Pruning: Typically this plant has a high pruning requirement ranging from frequent heading back to shearing. This is all because most people have a low tolerance for 'wild' and out-of-control' plants in managed urban settings.

Propagation: Softwood cuttings, grafting.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: This is an old-fashioned, tough landscape plant that is rarely seen found in Phoenix retail nurseries or landscape gardens. If inappropriately placed in the landscape, the maintenance requirements of this sprawling shrub can be very high!!! E. pungens x E. glabra 'Knotts' is dwarf and compact hybrid cultivar that has much higher use potential in smaller urban spaces.