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Tarajo Holly Ilex latifolia

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks lat-ih-FOE-lee-ah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Ilex latifolia, or Tarajo Holly, is a large, densely pyramidal evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 23 feet tall. Tarajo Holly is native to southern Japan and eastern and southern China and is often found growing in broad leaf forests. The genus name, Ilex, comes from the Latin Quercus ilex for holm oak and refers to the similarity in the shape of the leaves. Latifolia is Latin for broad leafed.

Plant in the full sun to partial shade in acidic well-drained soil though it tolerates a wide range of soil types, from moist to dry, including clay. Tarajo Holly 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 does have a slow growth rate and 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. This plant has large, shiny leaves (the largest of any holly) and is an excellent evergreen specimen, hedge, or espalier. The cultivar 'Mary Nell' produces a heavy set of red fruit. The fruits are on short penuncles in axillary clusters of surrounding stems and leaves are used in orient for tea.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

This plant has no serious pests. Spider mites and nematodes are occasional pests.  Alkaline soils will cause the leaves to yellow.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Mary Nell', 'Purple Power'
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#drought tolerant#shrub#wildlife plant#yellow-green#nectar plant#shade garden#showy fruits#specialized bees#pest resistant#deer browsing plant#red fruits#teas#pollinator plant#fantz#bird friendly#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Mary Nell', 'Purple Power'
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#drought tolerant#shrub#wildlife plant#yellow-green#nectar plant#shade garden#showy fruits#specialized bees#pest resistant#deer browsing plant#red fruits#teas#pollinator plant#fantz#bird friendly#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    latifolia
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The leaves are used as a tea substitute. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Japan, Eastern and Southern China
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract bees and fruits are enjoyed by birds. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer damage
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Human ingestion of berries can cause minor toxic reaction.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 23 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 7 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • 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 Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 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:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Deep, dull orange-red globose berry borne in dense clusters that persist into spring and are less than 1 inch wide and 1 inch long. Fruits are on short penduncles in axillary clusters surrounding stems.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    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 inch), dull, greenish 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:
    Leathery
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obtuse
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate and simple with a lustrous dark green color above and a yellow green color below. Leaves are oblong to ovate-oblong, obtuse or shortly acuminate, serrate with black gland at end of each tooth, and coriaceous. They grow between 3 and 7 inches long and 1 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Some leaves are convex and some are not.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Bumpy
    Bark Description:
    Dark brown bark with a rough surface.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    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:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
  • 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