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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Hesperocyparis arizonica Cupressus arizonica 'Blue Pyramid'
Salvia greggii Salvia greggii
Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo biloba
Ilex cornuta 'Needlepoint' has some common insect problems:
Holly Pest Management Calendar
Pests of Holly

Ilex cornuta 'Needlepoint'

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

'Needlepoint' is a cultivar of Ilex cornuta holly. Like its parent, it is drought and heat tolerant and produces abundant, vivid red, 1/4" diameter berries. 'Needlepoint' is one of the best hollys for use as a screen in the landscape and is also effective when planted en mass or in a group. It takes well to pruning and can be grown as a hedge up to 15 feet tall or trained to be a small tree up to 20 feet tall.  This plant is moderately salt tolerant.

The specific epithet "cornuta' means horn-shaped after the perceived shape of the leaves.  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). It is self pollinating. This holly is tolerant of most soils except poorly-drained ones and can be grown in full to partial sun. It is tolerant of heat and humidity and is drought tolerant once established, making it a good choice for the south. Prune in the late winter to control its size if needed. 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. Mature plants do not tolerate root disturbance, so it is best to site the plant in its permanent position, preferably one that provides winter protection for the first year or two.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Holly leaf miner, scale, whitefly, and spider mites are occasional insect pests. 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 landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Needlepoint Variegated'
'Needlepoint Variegated'
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#salt tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Needlepoint Variegated'
'Needlepoint Variegated'
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#salt tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    cornuta
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern China, 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
    Sound
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wind Break
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to damage by deer and Phytophthora root rot.
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Berries are slightly toxic to humans if eaten in quantity.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
    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
    12-24 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:
    A good fruiter with vivid red, 1/4 inch diameter berries. They are produced on female plants. Fruits persist into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small, 4-parted, radial, axillary, dull-white flowers in late spring that are 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch. Male and female flowers are on different plants (dioecious). Fragrant but not showy.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, lustrous dark green above, yellow-green below. Leaves are spiny, coriaceous, and 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, oblong-rectangular in shape, slightly twisted with a large spine at the tip.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth gray bark becoming finely flakey with size.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender, green stems turning reddish-green in the winter, buds small, leaf scar with 1 bundle scar. Branchlets are dense.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heat
    Salt
    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