Plant DetailShow Menu

Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks kor-NOO-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Burford Holly is a cultivar of the I. cornuta holly. The parent plant originated in Asia where it is often found in ravines and hills and alongside mountain paths. The cultivar, 'Burfordii', was discovered in Georgia with characteristics of drought and heat tolerance and, unlike the parent plant, this cultivar is easily transplantable. Burdford Holly is fast growing, dense, and, because it tolerates severe pruning, can be trimmed to form a rounded large shrub, small tree (when lower branches are removed), or hedge. Pruning should be done in late winter.

Burford holly grows to 15' tall. It has revolute leaves with only one apical spine. It is noted for heavy fruit set. Ilex cornuta 'Dwarf Burford' (also known as 'Burfordii Nana') is very similar to 'Burfordii', except it grows much shorter (to only 6-8' tall), has smaller leaves (to 2" long) and sports darker foliage. The flowers are not very showy, but they are pleasantly scented. The plant is dioecious (meaning individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). Burford holly produces its heavy fruit set without pollination (referred to as parthenocarpy).

This holly is tolerant of most soils except poorly-drained ones and can be grown in full to partial sun. The fruit and evergreen leaves make for winter interest in the landscape. The spiny leaves make this a good choice for a barrier or privacy screen or use as an impenetrable hedge. It can also be planted as a specimen, used in small groups, or planted along a foundation.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

Burford Holly can have pest problems including leaf miner, scale, whitefly, and spider mites. Powdery mildew, leaf spot, leaf rot, and tar spot are potential disease problems.  However, it is resistant to Phytophthora root rot. Depending on their planting location this shrub can exhibit chlorosis, leaf drop, or leaf scorch from high pH soils.

 

More information on Ilex cornuta.

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Flowers Galore Woodland Backyard Garden Walk Mountain Ridge Top Garden - South Lawn and Border
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Burfordii Nana (compact form)
    a slightly smaller form of ‘Burfordii’ and the leaves are more puckered. Also known as Dwarf Burford.
Burfordii Nana (compact form)
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#specialized bees#cpp#deer resistant#pollinator plant#bird friendly#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Burfordii Nana (compact form)
    a slightly smaller form of ‘Burfordii’ and the leaves are more puckered. Also known as Dwarf Burford.
Burfordii Nana (compact form)
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#specialized bees#cpp#deer resistant#pollinator plant#bird friendly#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    cornuta
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China and Korea.
    Distribution:
    southeastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are attractive to birds. Flowers attract bees. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Break
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Phytophthora root rot
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Berries are slightly toxic to humans if eaten in quantity.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Spines
    Thorns
  • 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:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Plant produces abundant bright to dull red berries in clusters of 3 to 8 that are spiny only at the apex. Fruits are heavily produced without pollination (parthenocarpic) and persist into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small, 1/4 to 1/3 inch, dull white flowers that bloom in spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, glossy olive-green leaves that are 2 to 3 inches in length. These small leaves have a single terminal spine at the apex, although occasionally two lateral spines will develop. These leaves are elliptic to oblong, coriaceaous, and bullate (appearing blistered). Margins are usually smooth.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth gray bark becoming finely flakey with size.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender, yellow-green stems turning reddish-green in the winter, buds small, leaf scar with 1 bundle scar. Branchlets are dense.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Problems:
    Spines/Thorns
  • 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