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Ilex crenata 'Soft Touch'

Common Name(s):

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

Soft Touch Japanese Holly is a cultivar of Ilex Crenata, Japanese Holly, a native of Japan and east Asia and found in thickets, woods and wet places in lowland and mountains all over Japan. Soft Touch Japanese Holly is a dense, mounded, evergreen shrub with a moderate growth rate. Unlike its parent, it will reach a relatively short height of 3 feet and has soft-textured leaves without the sharp spines typically found on Japanese Holly. Soft Touch Japanese Holly glossy green leaves also have an interesting silver mid-vein. It works well planted in borders, as an accent, or along walkways. Black ornamental berries persist throughout winter for cool season interest.

Plant in the full sun in acidic well-drained soil though it tolerates a wide range of soil types, from moist to dry, including clay. The shrub can be pruned to manage its size and it tolerates drought, shade, air pollution, poor soils, and clay soils and is easy to transplant. It may not thrive in areas with high heat and humidity (USDA zones 8 and 9). The species is dioecious (meaning individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant, thus both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). It is pollinated by bees and is not self-fertile.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

Generally pest free. Potential insect include holly leaf miner, spider mites, whitefly, and scale. Potential diseases include leaf spot, leaf rot, tar spot, and powdery mildew. Plants are also susceptible to leaf drop, leaf scorch and chlorosis (yellowing of leaves in high pH soils). 

More information on Ilex crenata.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Backyard Patio
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#specimen#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cottage garden#mass planting#specialized bees#cpp#border planting#bird friendly#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#specimen#wildlife plant#nectar plant#cottage garden#mass planting#specialized bees#cpp#border planting#bird friendly#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    crenata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Nepal to Temperate East Asia, Japan and Korea
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Showy fruits are attractive to birds. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Mildly resistant to damage by deer.
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Human ingestion of berries can cause minor toxic reaction.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Black ornamental berries on pollinated female plants that are 1/4 inch in length. Fruits are hidden below the foliage. Persist throughout winter for cool season interest.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small (1/4 inch), dull, greenish white fragrant flowers in spring that form in clusters of 1 to 3. Pistillate cyme, in leaf axils of current season's growth; staminate solitary in leaf axils of current season's growth.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Soft
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    It has soft-textured, glossy green leaves that have an interesting silver mid-vein.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Green
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Smooth, gray-brown or slightly greenish.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are green on current season growth, and turn gray-green to gray-brown by year 2 or 3. They are often densely pubescent on young stems. Dense and rigid at maturity.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
  • 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