Elaeagnus – The Silverberry

Apr 19th, 2011 | By | Category: Bonsai Trees, Featured Articles


I have two rooted Elaeagnus conferta (胡颓子in Chinese) on my bonsai table. I have never given them much thought, but only until recently, my interest in this tree aroused when I saw a beautiful twin trunk Elaeagnus conferta in the bonsai collection of Mr. Wu Cheng-Fa, Chairman of Hong Kong Penjing and Artstone Society.

Elaeagnus-Bonsai-Tree Elaeagnus-Bonsai-Tree
My two rooted Elaeagnus conferta

Common name: Thory Elaeagnus, Wild Olive
Native: China – Guangxi, Yunnan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia

There usually is a layer of silvery brownish scales covering the leaves of Elaeagnus, giving the tree a silver to grey-brown look from a distance (that’s probably where the nickname “Silverberry” comes from).
The flowers are small, yet fragrant. Fruit is a fleshy drupe with a single seed that is edible. Chinese use the fruits and the leaves of Elaeagnus for food and medicine.

2 Comments to “Elaeagnus – The Silverberry”

  1. edwin rangel says:

    thats very new to me seems the material has all the characteristic of a good bonsai. lucky for you to have one and good luck. question, is it a slow grower type and how long it would take to view the line you are aiming at?
    thanks for posting and if i may say im quite new to this hobby but already addicted to it. im practicing now with about 80 or so bonsais..good luck to me hehehe. again thanks

  2. Sandy Sandy says:

    Hi Edwin,

    Yes it is quite a slow grower indeed. I would guess it will take me more than 5 years to grow these cuttings into a presentable bonsai. And since I am practicing Lingnan style, it will probably take longer than many others.

    80 bonsai are enough to keep us quite busy. Have fun with them! Happy Bonsai 😉

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