Silverthorn is a large, fast-growing shrub that's sometimes planted in hedges or along highways, since it quickly makes a dense screen.

The plant gets its name from the thorn-like spikes found along its stems. In the spring, silverthorn blooms with tiny but fragrant flowers that smell like gardenias, which is why some people like this plant. It's also tolerant of salt spray and has good drought tolerance.

The plant does have some drawbacks. These sprawling shrubs can reach fifteen feet tall and twenty feet wide. They also put up tentacle-like shoots that can quickly overtake neighboring trees and shrubs. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council considers this plant a Category II invasive exotic species. This means silverthorn has the potential to cause ecological damage.

As a result, you should plant silverthorn with caution, since it can quickly take over areas if left unpruned. Or look for compact varieties that will require less pruning.


UF/IFAS Publications