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Mary Nell Holly Ilex 'Mary Nell'

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Description

This relatively new selection from the famous Tom Dodd Nursery in Alabama is a lush beauty with three hybrid parents: I. cornuta, the exceptionally tough and heat-tolerant Chinese Holly, I. pernyi: Perny Holly, a common breeding parent with lovely, neat, small foliage, and I. latifolia, Lusterleaf Holly, a large-leaved holly whose broad, blue-green leaves are strikingly unique and attractive. From these three parents, 'Mary Nell' has inherited tough landscape adaptability in the southeast, beautiful large, exceptionally glossy, dark blue-green leaves, a dense, pyramidal to columnar shape, and the tendency to produce prodigious quantities of bright red fruit. In fact, 'Mary Nell' may well outpace 'Nellie Stevens' as a top evergreen holly for southeastern gardens.

This mix of inherited characters translates into a plant with the striking foliage qualities of I. latifolia plus the elegant and refined habit of I. pernyi , the cast-iron landscape performance of I. cornuta, and the fruitfulness of a vigorous hybrid - a tough combination for any other holly to beat. 'Mary Nell' will eventually reach 20 - 25' in height with a moderately formal pyramidal shape and very dense foliage. It will grow well in partial shade but foliage quality and fruiting will be best in full sun. 'Mary Nell' will take almost any soil a curmudgeonly gardener can dish up and thrive beautifully. It is hardy throughout the coast and Piedmont regions of the southeast but may suffer in severe mountain winters. Like most evergreen hollies, 'Mary Nell' is easily propagated from hardwood or semi-hardwood cuttings rooted under mist. 

Information provided in part by JC Raulston Arboretum.

It prefers well-drained moist soil in full sun to partial shade. Use as a hedge, foundation plant or a specimen.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white flowers#pyramidal#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#red fruits#winter fruits
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white flowers#pyramidal#low maintenance#spring flowers#winter interest#red fruits#winter fruits
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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 Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Numerous bright red berries persist through winter and are attractive to wildlife.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Shiny green with short spines on margins of the leaves
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Specimen