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Ilex pernyi

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks PERN-yee-eye
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Perny Holly, a native of Southern China and Tibet, is a tall, showy evergreen tree or shrub with beautiful berries. The leaves are small and diamond-shaped with sharply toothed margins to provide winter interest but are also sharp to the touch. The flowers are yellow but insignificant and small and berries on the female plants are red. In winter the plant is covered with bright red berries that attract birds and making it a good candidate for use as a specimen or accent plant. 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 berries are desired). It is pollinated by bees.

The plant is often used for breeding hybrids. .For example, Ilex x aquipernyi is a cross between I. aquifolium (English Holly) and I. pernyi, from which 'Meschick' (sold as Dragon Lady) is a female cultivar.

This holly is tolerant of most soils except poorly-drained ones and can be grown in full to partial sun. It is is drought tolerant once established. 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:

No known disease or insect problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Dragon Lady
  • Ilex x aquipernyi 'Brilliant'
  • Ilex x aquipernyi 'San Jose'
Dragon Lady, Ilex x aquipernyi 'Brilliant', Ilex x aquipernyi 'San Jose'
Tags:
#thorns#evergreen#wildlife plant#nectar plant#specialized bees#deer browsing plant#pollinator plant#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • Dragon Lady
  • Ilex x aquipernyi 'Brilliant'
  • Ilex x aquipernyi 'San Jose'
Dragon Lady, Ilex x aquipernyi 'Brilliant', Ilex x aquipernyi 'San Jose'
Tags:
#thorns#evergreen#wildlife plant#nectar plant#specialized bees#deer browsing plant#pollinator plant#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    pernyi
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tibet, Central and Southern China, Myanmar
    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:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer damage
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Berries are slightly toxic to humans if eaten in quantity.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 9 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Spines
  • 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
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • 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:
    Red 1/4 inch fruit tightly clustered along the stem, holds from fall through winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    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, inconspicuous yellowish flowers. 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
    Prickly
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Rhomboidal
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite, simple, glossy dark green leaves; 1/2 to 1 inch long; one to three spines on each side of leaf, and sharply toothed margins.
  • 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, green stems turning reddish-green in the winter. Branchlets are dense.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    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