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Will Fleming Holly Ilex vomitoria 'Will Fleming'

Other Common Name(s):

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

'Will Fleming' is a male cultivar of I. vomitoria, a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees native to the eastern United States and often found native in North Carolina.   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.

The 'Will Fleming' cultivar, or Will Fleming Holly, is a narrow, dense, upright form of the species that grows up to 15 feet tall and can act as an exclamation point in the landscape. 'Will Fleming' has tight, close-knit appearance initially, but over time as the plant matures, it opens out providing excellent vertical interest as a loose screen, accent, or border plant. 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. 'Will Fleming' is a male cultivar and will not bear fruit but can be used to pollinate female varieties.

'Will Fleming' holly is drought and salt spray tolerant, tolerates wet soil, is easily transplanted, and has no known pest problems. Plant in average well-drained soils in sun to shade.  It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and can take heavy pruning.  

Use in small or vertical spaces in an Asian garden.  Mass plant as a low hedge or along the middle of a border or prune it into a small tree and use as a container plant on a patio where the fragrant flowers can be enjoyed.

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, 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:
#small tree#fragrant flowers#small spaces#specimen#low maintenance#accent plant#mass planting#specialized bees#disease resistant#highly beneficial coastal plants#deer resistant#foundation planting#screening#pollinator plant#Asian garden#evergreen shrub#poor soils tolerant#vertical spaces#evergreen tree#nectar plant spring#border middle#walkway planting#small group plantings#wet soils tolerant#patio planting#container plant#dense growth
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#small tree#fragrant flowers#small spaces#specimen#low maintenance#accent plant#mass planting#specialized bees#disease resistant#highly beneficial coastal plants#deer resistant#foundation planting#screening#pollinator plant#Asian garden#evergreen shrub#poor soils tolerant#vertical spaces#evergreen tree#nectar plant spring#border middle#walkway planting#small group plantings#wet soils tolerant#patio planting#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. Also contains caffeine.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to Phytophthora root rot, deer.
    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: 12 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Dense
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    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:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Male plant that does not produce fruit.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Produces small, inconspicuous greenish-white fragrant flowers in spring that are solitary or in pairs and are clustered on peduncles in leaf axils.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Smooth
    Waxy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Small, finely serrated, lustrous dark green foliage is alternate, simple, glossy and 1/2 to 3/4 inches long. New growth has a yellow-green tinge. Leaves are oval to ovate and are shallowly toothed around the margin to the base.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Patio
    Small Space
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Poor Soil
    Wet Soil
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea when consumed in quantity.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Saponins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Leaves