Elaeagnus × ebbingei ‘Gilt Edge’

variegated hybrid elaeagnus

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The leaves of this evergreen shrub are dynamite, with the sharp contrast between their dark green centers and brilliant gold margins. The new leaves are coated with silvery scales, these remain thick beneath the mature leaves but thin to dots on upper leaf surfaces. In October, small, silver-scaly flowers hide in the branches of 'Gilt Edge', but their presence is revealed by the exquisite fragrance that floats on the autumn air. Like other Eleagnus, this is extremely adaptable, growing in full sun or part shade. It is drought tolerant and can be used as screening or hedging. Plant it as an accent plant, to brighten a dark spot, or use it in a mixed border with other shrubs and perennials.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 10

Flower Color: cream

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant when established

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Plant Combinations: It combines well with David's viburnum, variegated Japanese barberry, purple smokebush, compact burningbush, heavenly bamboo, purpleleaf ninebark or purpleleaf black elder.

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, blue, burgundy

Great Color Partners: gold, silver, yellow

Culture Notes
This tough and adaptable shrub will grow in full sun to deep shade in well-drained soils, although it will tolerate sandy or clay soils if they are not waterlogged. Once established it is drought tolerant, but in competitive situations it appreciates occasional watering during the driest weather. If all-green leaves appear prune out the branch to keep the variegation uniform. In dappled and deep shade it rarely flowers. In sunny locations pruning is best in winter, early spring and early summer to keep from removing flower buds. It is resistant to damage from salt-laden air.
Geek Notes
Seedlings of this hybrid were first grown in Europe in 1929, where this fine cultivar has been very popular.