Silverthorn Makes Autumn Smell Like Spring

The silverthorn has bloomed here in the Shenandoah Valley, and my yard smells wonderful! We had about 35 friends out to the house last weekend and most commented on the Gardenia-like aroma wafting around the yard on the slightly windy day.

Silverthorn, Elaeagnus pungens

Silverthorn, Elaeagnus pungens

When we first saw the farm, the day we put in an offer, we noticed a sweet smell that seemed to come from the front yard. A few weeks later, when I gave a friend the tour, we noticed the small white blossoms on the bush in the peach bed, but what plant blooms with such a smell in Autumn?

Silverthorn, or Elaegnus pungens, is a beautiful evergreen shrub that can grow to 15 feet and forms elegant mounds. The bush never lost its leaves last year, and its only damage occurred during snow. In fact, in this picture from the 2010 blizzard, the Silverthorn is the snow-covered white mass to the far left. As the snow melted, some of the leaves suffered from the cold air.

This year’s growing season has helped the shrub recover, and it is again covered in shiny green leaves. The off-white bell-shaped flowers cover the branches. Birds use the shrub for cover yearround. When we open a door, little balls of color fly off of the bird feeders and hide in the Silverthorn.

Some sources note the plant is nonnative and can become invasive.

*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**

1 comment to Silverthorn Makes Autumn Smell Like Spring

  • orlando16

    Hey I live in Florida , and.have planted silver thorns around the front of my home. I first noticed the fresh smell at the entrance of is country club in s. Florida . So my question is I had then approx.2yrs what fertilizer should I use?

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