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Purple Holly Ilex chinensis

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Ilex purpurea
Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks chy-NEN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Oriental Holly, or Ilex chinensis, is a large species of holly native to eastern China and Japan. It is an evergreen tree with either male or female flowers and, because each plant is a specific sex, both male and female must be planted if fruit and seed are desired. Note that this plant is often sold under the synonym, Ilex purpurea.

Oriental Holly has average water requirements and should be watered regularly for consistently moist soil. However, it does not tolerate either overwatering or soil that is allowed to dry out. It will grow in full sun and partial shade. It is typically grown for its attractive foliage. You should also chose a site for this tree with care because the tree can reach heights of 40 feet or more and does not take well to root disruption or replanting.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

No known diseases or pest issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#interesting bark#wildlife plant#large tree#nectar plant#specialized bees#deer resistant#pollinator plant#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#interesting bark#wildlife plant#large tree#nectar plant#specialized bees#deer resistant#pollinator plant#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    chinensis
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South China to Vietnam, Central and South Japan, Taiwan
    Distribution:
    South East Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Human ingestion of berries can cause minor toxic reaction.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 50 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Shiny red fruit that attracts birds and other wildlife in winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small purplish pink to red flowers that blossom in late spring or early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 2 to 4.2 inches long, alternate, and simple. New growth is typically bronze maturing to green.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Dark gray, thin.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    C-shaped, Cresent shaped
    Stem Lenticels:
    Not Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Current year’s branchlets gray, terete, thinly angular; older branchlets glabrous, with crescent-shaped, convex leaf scars; lenticels obscure, small.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Mass Planting
    Shade Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heat
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Minor toxicity. Ingestion may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or other illness in humans.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits