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Silver and Grey Foliage Shrubs - Evergreen, Deciduous

Coloured Foliage – 2

Most of the silver foliaged plants – including the shrubs listed here – are happier in dry conditions in full sunshine. This is particularly so with those that have downy foliage.

As with all descriptive foliage colours, there is general latitude as to what is exactly silver and what is grey. We have tried to err on the side of accuracy and provided lists of those that we know for certain, veer towards silver - rather than grey or blue!

There are many variegated shrubs which are borderline - as with the image at the top of the page - Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Queen. Many when viewed from a distance will blend in well and can be accepted as having silver foliage.

Evergreen Shrubs with Silver Foliage

Artemisia arborescens and most other Artemisia shrubs – some are also perennials – many silver leaved varieties – suited to dry garden spots. Artemisia ‘Powis Castle; is outstanding silver. Artemisia ludoviciana ‘Silver Queen’ also very good.

Pittosporum tenuifolium Silber Wueen foliageBrachyglottis ‘Sunshine’ – same as Senecio laxifolius. Yellow daisy flowers – can be cut back hard after flowering to rejuvenate with pure silver foliage

Helichrysum italicum – ‘Splendidum’ – the curry plant owing to it’s spicy smelling foliage.

Santolina chamaecyparissus or S. incana (The Cotton Lavender) Pure silver foliage with yellow pompom flowers

Lavandula × chaytoriae ‘Richard Gray’ Many Lavenders have grey rather than silver foliage – this one is certainly silver.

Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ – Russian Sage – Plant in full sun for best foliage (and flower) effect

Phlomis fruiticosa - good silver downy foliage, with contrasting yellow flowers.

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Silver Queen’ – Best if pruned hard

Pittosporun tenuifolium ‘Marjory Channon’

Convolvulus cneorum – white flowers resembling bindweed, however, clump forming shrub rather then troublesome weed.

Eucalyptus gunnii can be cut back annually for stunning silver foliage effect.

Euonymus fortunei 'Harlequin'

Lonicera nitida ‘Silver Beauty’ Low growing with spreading leaf stalks full of silver foliage

Elaeagnus x ebbingei which has silver white undersides to the leaves – very visible in breeze and taller plant – Elaeagnus angustifolia ‘Quicksilver’ Foliage does not come more silver than this.

Hebe pinguifolia ‘Pagei’ – H. ‘Pewter Dome’ – H. pimeleoides ‘Quicksilver’ is the best of the silver foliage – though very low spreading growth.

Hebe ‘Silver Dollar’ – the name speaks for itself

Teucreum fruiticans being a slightly untidy shrub but the pruning will keep it in shape – and also enhance the silver foliage on young shoots.

Euphorbia charachias Silver Swan – stunning silver and white foliage

Deciduous Silver leaf shrubs

Berberis temolaica – Described as having blue leaves – but verging on silver depending upon planting position

Buddleja ‘Lochinch’ Most of the Butterfly bushes have grey green foliage – but this most certainly silver with powder blue flowers.

Buddleja Silver ‘Anniversary’ – even more striking than B. Lochinch, but with white flowers and is harder to find.

Salix – Several dwarf varieties have downy silver foliage, Salix candid ‘Silver Fox’ lives up to descriptive name as does Salix (dwarf) Arctic Fox.

Pyrus salicifolia – Normally as a weeping standard – but can also be grown as a pendant shrub. Good silver foliage.

Caryopteris ‘Sterling Silver’ - pure silver white foliage with deep sky blue flowers.

If large pollarded shrubs are suited for you – then the white Poplar – Populus alba is the one to go for.


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