|'Quicksilver' is a fast growing, deciduous, open, pyramidal, shrub, reaching 12 feet in height, which can also be clipped into a hedge form. The leaves are silver-gray and willow-like, which contrasts nicely with the pretty, shedding, dark brown bark. It is one of the best plants for silver-gray foliage. The young branches are silvery, sometimes with thorns. The flowers appear in late spring to early summer and are fragrant, small and greenish-yellow. These later produce a yellow, drupe-like fruit, resembling olives, which in the Orient are made into a sweet sherbet.
This hardy plant has been utilized as a highway plant because it tolerates a wide variety of conditions, including high salt, dry alkaline soils, and a wide range of soil types. It fixes nitrogen, so does well in poor soils. It should be kept pruned to keep it vigorous. Verticillium can devastate this plant, and it is subject to various diseases, including canker, gall and scales. Native to southern Europe, western Asia and the Himalayas.