If you know Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), you probably think of it as the weedy shrub that shows up along roadsides. ‘Quicksilver’ is a hybrid relative of that weed, decked out with astonishingly intense silver foliage that is absolutely breathtaking all summer. Like its weedy relative, it is insanely tough, tolerant of cold, heat and drought, the kind of plant you never need to worry about as long as you can give it a little sun. Luckily it is also sterile, so it doesn’t set seeds and never becomes an actual weed. Stick it in a difficult spot, watch it thrive and enjoy how strikingly the bright silver leaves set off the dark foliage and flowers of companion plants around it.
Common Name: Quick Silver russian olive
Botanical Name: Elaeagnus ‘Quicksilver’
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 though 9
Size: 6 by 6 feet
Exposure: Sun to part shade
When to Plant: Spring or fall
Watering: None required once established
In Your Landscape: Silver foliage makes perfect backdrop for neighbors with dark foliage or flowers.
From Michigan Gardening Volume I Issue IV. Photo courtesy of Joseph Tychonievich.