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Ilex vomitoria 'Taylor's Rudolph'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks vom-ih-TOR-ee-uh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

'Taylor's Rudolph' is a cultivar of I. vomitoria in the Aquifoliaceae (holly) family.   The genus name Ilex is in reference to the similarity of the evergreen leaves to Quercus ilex or holm oak.  The leaves of the parent plant were used for ceremonial tea, which, when consumed in large quantities, caused a cleansing now memorialized by the specific epithet vomitoria. 'Taylor's Rudolph' is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub reaching 3 to 5 feet tall and wide with a mounded form that fills out down to the ground. This low-growing dwarf has a fine texture, plenty of red berries in fall and glossy dark green leaves all year long.

It is adaptable to a wide range of soil types and is drought tolerant once established but tolerates temporary wet conditions. It does best in full sun to partial shade and is salt tolerant but will not do well in urban pollution settings such as parking lots. It is a slow to moderate grower.  Prune in winter if needed.

The spring flowers are not ornamental significant but attract pollinators. In the fall and winter, the birds enjoy the berries.

Plants of this species are dioecious (separate male and female plants) and female plants need a male pollinator in the area in order to bear fruit. Being a female variety, it requires a male selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit such as ‘Schilling’s Dwarf’,  Possomhaw, or American Holly.

'Taylor's Rudolph' can be mass planted and used as a formal hedge, a specimen, or as a foundation plant.  It is at home in a coastal garden, rock garden or middle of the border planting. It can also be grown in containers and is resistant to browsing by deer.

Fire Risk:This plant has a high flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home. Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No insect or disease problems when planted in their native habitat.  Holly leaf miner, spider mites,  aphids, whitefly, and scale are occasional problems. Leaf spot, leaf rot, tar spot, and powdery mildew are potential disease problems.

VIDEO: Part of a series of Native Plant Picks from the North Carolina Sea Grant Coastal Landscapes Initiative.

More information on Ilex vomitoria.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#slow growing#low maintenance#winter interest#dwarf#accent plant#mounding#deer resistant#glossy leaves#foundation planting#red fruits#rock garden#holly#glossy fruits#evergreen shrub#taylor's rudolph butterfly#border middle#bird friendly#partial shade tolerant#winter fruits#shrub borders#salt intolerant#container plant#dense growth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#shrub#slow growing#low maintenance#winter interest#dwarf#accent plant#mounding#deer resistant#glossy leaves#foundation planting#red fruits#rock garden#holly#glossy fruits#evergreen shrub#taylor's rudolph butterfly#border middle#bird friendly#partial shade tolerant#winter fruits#shrub borders#salt intolerant#container plant#dense growth
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    vomitoria
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood from this plant was used by Native Americans to make arrows. The leaves were used for ceremonial tea, which, when consumed in large quantities, caused a cleansing now memorialized by the specific epithet. Also contains caffeine.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Fire Risk Rating:
    high flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are enjoyed by birds.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Phytophthora root rot.
    Edibility:
    Use caution. The young leaves may be picked, browned and dried in an oven, steeped in hot water and used to make Yaupon tea. It contains caffeine. In quantities, can be mildly toxic.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Description:
    1/4 inch Glossy, bright red drupes have 4 seeds each which are dispersed by birds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Not ornamentally significant
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1.5 inch long and 3/4-inch wide oval, glossy, dark green leaves that emerge with a purple tinge. Margins are crenate or serrate and have a rounded base and prominent, pinnate venation.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Lawn
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Salt
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea when consumed in quantity.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No