Silverbush Plant - Convolvulus cneorum Flowers
Convolvulus cneorum Flowers

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Description, Care & Uses

The Silverbush Plant or Bush Morning Glory is a subshrub, with excellent ornamental features – but not only. Having attractive silvery foliage, beautiful white flowers and abundant flowering that attracts bees and butterflies, gives color and life to every garden.

In addition, it gives the motivation for sports to the flower lover, as bigoted insects will hunt to sting him. If, of course, she/he belongs to the category of butterfly admirers, has more motivation to get the butterfly net and from prey to turn into a predator.

So Silverbush plant contributes to increasing biodiversity, aesthetic upgrading, but also to the impeccable physical conditioning of the regular patrons of the gardens where it has been planted.

The use of Silverbush Plant as a ground cover in mass plantings creates attractive colorful areas.

Silverbush Plant - Convolvulus cneorum Plants
Convolvulus cneorum Plants
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Silverbush Plant Origin

Silverbush Plant Map of Origin (Convolvulus cneorum)
Convolvulus cneorum (Silverbush Plant) - Map of Origin

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant - Convolvulus cneorum in Xeriscaping Planting
Convolvulus cneorum in Xeriscaping Planting

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Brief Description

Family: Convolvulaceae

GenusConvolvulus

Scientific name: Convolvulus cneorum L.

Common name(s): Silverbush, Silver Bush, Bush Morning Glory, Silver Bush Morning Glory, Shrubby Bindweed

General Characteristics

Leaf Persistence

Evergreen

Form

Spreading Undershrub

Texture

Fine

Growth Rate

Moderate

Flowering Period (Northern Hemisphere)

April – September

Fruiting Period

Summer – Autumn

Height

0.6-0.7 m (2-2.3 ft)

Diameter

1-1.2 m (3.2-4 ft)

Shapes and Colors

Leaves Shape

Lanceolate

Foliage Colour

Silver Green

Autumn Foliage Colour

Silver Green

Flowers Shape

Funnel-Shaped

Flowers Colour

White

Fruit

Brown Capsule

Plantation

Soil Type: Well-drained, sand, sandy loams, neutral to slightly alkaline

Exposure: Sun

Soil pH: 7-8

Watering: Low

Hardiness: −9 °C (15 °F – USDA Hardiness Zone 8b)

Uses

Specimen, mass planting, borders, pots and containers

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant - Convolvulus cneorum Origiin, Li Galli islands, Italy
Convolvulus cneorum Origiin, Li Galli islands, Italy

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Etymology

Etymology of the Genus Name

The name of the genus Convolvulus is a Latin word and means, without complications, ‘bindweed’ and / or ‘caterpillar’. It also comes from the Latin convolvo, which is interpreted as rolling together or twining.

The word convolvo is of course complex, since it consists of the equally Latin con and volvō, which mean the first with, together, and the second roll. The distant origin of both is located respectively in the Proto-Indo-European roots *ḱóm (with, together) and *welH- (to turn, round, but also wind).

The botanical name of the genus as Convolvulus is particularly apt, as it attributes a feature of most of the approximately 200 species included in it.

Etymology of the Species Name

The name of the species cneorum has a slightly more complex origin. It comes from the Ancient Greek word ‘κνέωρον’, which is of unknown etymology, a word with which the Ancient Greeks called – in all likelihood – the plant ‘κνῆστρον’.

But which is – in all likelihood – this plant? It is the evergreen medium-sized shrub Daphne gnidium, whose leaves are very similar to the leaves of the olive.

And because the similarity between Silverbush plant and Daphne gnidium is not only found in the silver-colored foliage but also in the fact that both species have poisonous fruits (in fact, all plant parts of Daphne gnidium are extremely toxic), the combinatorial thinking of botanists has led them, in the poisonous poetic baptism of Silverbush plant as a cneorum.

And with this name the species now walks botanically and necessarily.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Origin & Life Span

Origin

 Silverbush plant originates from the Mediterranean and specifically from the seaside areas of the Croatian islands, Albania and Italy.

In Italy, populations are located on the island of Capri, the neighboring islands of Capri Li Galli and western Sicily.

In mainland Italy are located in the coastal areas of Tuscany – whose capital Florence remains the place of birth not of Silverbush plant but of the Italian Renaissance.

Life Span

Silverbush plant, if allow it to carry out its work in peace, spends its life merry and lives for more than 15 to 20 years.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Morphological Elements

Silverbush plant is a xerophyte perennial, evergreen compact subshrub with spreading shoots and shape round or flattened hemispherical.

Its canopy is dense and symmetrical with an irregular outline. During the flowering period, the entire plant is literally lost under the crowd of flowers.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant - The White Flowers of Convolvulus cneorum
The White Flowers of Convolvulus cneorum

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Botanical Description

Shoots

The nice arch shoots of the Silverbush plant almost all come from the base of the plant and are slightly branched.

Leaves

Its leaves are lanceolate to elliptical and are silver-colored. Their characteristic silky appearance is due to the fact that – like all the stem parts of the plant – they are covered with fine hairs.

The leaf size ranges from 2 to 3.5 up to 6 cm (0.7 to 1.4 up to 2.3 in) in length and 0.3 to 0.8 up to 1.2 cm (0.1 to 0.3 up to 0.5 in) in width.

Flowers

The flowers are hermaphrodite and have a funnel-like shape (actinomorphic). Their color is white – sometimes pink – with a yellow center, while they are carried in dense terminal cymose clusters, one to two in in the axils of bracts.

The peduncle of the flowers has a length of 1 to 2 to 4 cm (0.4 to 0.8 up to 1.6 in), and the length of the corolla is between 2 and 7 cm (0.8 to 2.7 in) and the width from 2 to 2,5 cm (0.8 to 1 in).

The characteristic feature of the Silverbush plant’s flowers is that they open with sunlight and the evening are closed.

Pollination

Pollination occurs mainly with the insects among which – weirdly – include bees and butterflies.

Fruit & Seeds

The fruit is a capsule and covered with hairs – like the seeds produced.

Silverbush plant has honored to includ in the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) Poisonous Plant Database.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Climate & Soil

Temperature

Silverbush plant is generally a plant highly adaptive since cultivated within the natural temperature range of the species. The minimum temperatures, which are also the lowest tolerance limit, range between -6 and -9 °C (20-15 °F).

However, it is a particularly sensitive plant in the heavily frozen northern winds as and the frosts and it must be avoided to planted in areas where the prevailing wind is north or the regions are frosty.

With high temperatures the plant’s behavior is excellent. The AHS (American Horticultural Society) classifies the plant in zones 8-11 and indeed, temperatures that often exceed 40 °C have no negative effect on the plant.

Soil and pH

In relation to the soil, Silverbush plant prefers light to moderately textured soils, which have excellent drainage. In its natural habitat, it grows in calcareous, gravelly soils, even in rocky places in coastal areas.

In terms of pH it is recommended to plant in neutral to slightly alkaline soil reaction with values ranging from 7 to 8.

Exposure

Silverbush plant is suggested to planted in places of southern orientation and full exposure to the sun. As a plant, it also tolerates the half-shade, but then the flowering is reduced and also its flowers do not fully open. The reason is the one mentioned above: to fully open the flowers must accept the sunlight directly.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant - Convolvulus cneorum Plant in a Rock-Garden
Convolvulus cneorum Plant in a Rock-Garden

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Care

Fertilization

Silverbush plant fertilization takes place from the end of the winter to the end of the summer. It can be used a complete fertilizer containing the main elements N-P-K at a ratio of 1: 1: 1 (20-20-20).

Administration is done either once, provided it is controlled release, or in doses at a frequency of 1 every 20 to 30 days. The amount of administration for the established plants is 10 to 15 g. Additionally, a trace minerals foliar application in early spring is beneficial to the plant. No other fertilization is made after the end of the summer.

Irrigation

Silverbush plant, as a xerophyte, has minimal water requirements and if established, it can cope with long drought periods. However, where it is possible to irrigate, it is recommended to watery when the soil at a depth of 3 to 5 cm has dried.

Pruning

Generally systemic pruning is not necessary for the plant unless it is desired to limit its growth. Then it can be pruned annually at the end of the winter to early spring, at 20 to 30 cm.In all other cases, rejuvenation pruning can handle once every 3 to 4 years.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Pests & Diseases

In practice, it does not face problems from pests and diseases. However, sometimes, from the insects, the scales can attack the plant, while rusts and root rots are reported from fungi. Root rots are largely due to insufficient drainage.

Pests

Immediately below are listed the most important pests of Convolvulus cneorum.

Scales
  • Saisetia oleae (Black Scale)
  • Coccus hesperidum(Brown Soft Scale)

By using the appropriate insecticides their treatment is satisfactory.

Diseases

After the pests, the recording of the diseases follows.

Fungi
  • Puccinia (Chrysanthemum Rusts)
  • Athelia rolfsii(Sclerotium Rot)

By the timely use of appropriate formulations the treatment of fungi is satisfactory.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Toxicity & Allergenicity

Toxicity

Convolvulus cneorum is non-toxic to humans and pets – with the exception of plant seeds.

Allergenicity

The plant is entomophilous and does not cause allergic reactions.

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Varieties

Although it is a widespread species, especially for plantings in Mediterranean or xeriscape gardens and landscapes, few varieties of Silverbush plant have been created.

Of these, the most important are:

  • Convolvulus cneorum ‘Silvery Moon’
  • Convolvulus cneorum ‘Snow Angel’

Silver Bush (Convolvulus cneorum) – Description, Care & Uses

Silverbush Plant - Convolvulus cneorum Flowering Plant in Pot
Convolvulus cneorum Flowering Plant in Pot

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - Uses

Silverbush plant is used as an ornamental, thanks to its glowing silver-colored foliage, in its highly interesting form and of course thanks to its rich and continuous flowering, which under ideal conditions lasts from 150 to 180 days.

By specifying it, it could be said that Silverbush plant can be used:

  • As a groundcover plant
  • In the planting of rock gardens
  • In the rooftop gardens
  • As a plant for xeriscape gardens and semi-arid areas
  • For planting in coastal areas
  • In combination with other shrubs and hedges, such asAutumn Sage (Salvia greggii), Pink Rock-rose (Cistus creticus), Common Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus ‘White Chiffon’) and Buchanan’s Sedge (Carex buchananii)

Silverbush Plant (Convolvulus cneorum) - References

A silver artist for a silver plant: the outstanding jazz composer and pianist Horace Silver, with his classical composition Senor Blues, presents the References of the Senor Convolvulus Cneorum of Κνῆστρον.

Play Video
  1. Clausen, R. R., Christopher, T., Detrick, L., & Detrick, A. L. (2015). Essential perennials: The complete reference to 2700 perennials for the home garden. London: Timber Press, Inc.
  2. Moody, M. (2001). Encyclopedia of flowers: Over 1,000 popular flowers, flowering shrubs and trees. San Francisco, CA: Fog City Press.
  3. Tassoula, L., Papafotiou, M., Liakopoulos, G., & Kargas, G. (2015). Growth of the Native Xerophyte Convolvulus cneorum L. on an Extensive Mediterranean Green Roof under Different Substrate Types and Irrigation Regimens. HortScience, 50(7), 1118-1124.

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