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East Palatka Holly Ilex x attenuata 'East Palatka'

Phonetic Spelling
EYE-leks at-ten-yoo-AY-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Ilex x attenuata, or Topal Holly, is a naturally growing evergreen shrub or small tree that is a hybrid cross of I. cassine (Dahoon) and I. opaca (American Holly). Topal Holly was initially found growing wild in Florida in the 1920's, but is now found throughout the southeastern United States where both parents are native. 'East Palatka' Holly is a cultivar of I. x attenuata.  Unlike its parent, which has a conical form, The 'East Palatka' Holly is pyramidal to horizontal with a weeping appearance. It can be grown as a 35 foot evergreen tree or as a large shrub and pruned when young into a single trunk to promote strong growth that is more resistant to storm damage. It tolerates urban conditions well and can be used in parking strips or sidewalks.  It also works well as a specimen in a lawn planting or planted in groups and used as a screen or hedge.  This tough plant is drought tolerant and can thrive in compacted poorly drained soils. Like its parent, 'East Palatka' has spiny, elliptic to obovate-lanceolate evergreen leaves (to 3 inches long) with attenuated bases, insignificant greenish-white spring flowers and showy, pea-sized, red fruits that persists over winter. The fruits provide an ornamental winter interest and attract birds.

 'East Palatka' Holly grows best in acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Although the best fruit production occurs in full sun, these plants do well with some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. You should site the plant where it can be protected from cold winter winds and the soil is well drained. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and deter weed growth. Prune in winter to maintain a desired size, although keep in mind that the plant flowers on new growth. Plants are dioecious (separate male and female plants) and, in order to set fruit, female plants will need a nearby male pollinator. Plants can suffer from the cold in USDA Zone 5 and below.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

No serious problems.  Growth is poor on alkaline soils.

More information on Ilex x attenuata.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#red berries#wildlife plants#showy fruits#hedges#lawn tree#food source wildlife#privacy#large shrub#red fruits#screening#evergreen tree#food source winter#food source fall#urban conditions tolerant#container plants
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#red berries#wildlife plants#showy fruits#hedges#lawn tree#food source wildlife#privacy#large shrub#red fruits#screening#evergreen tree#food source winter#food source fall#urban conditions tolerant#container plants
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    cassine x opaca
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Florida
    Distribution:
    Southeastern United States
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Winter food sources for birds and wildlife. Fruits are attractive to birds. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Human consumption of berries can cause minor toxic reaction.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 35 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Pyramidal
    Weeping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Thorns
  • 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:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 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:
    Female plants have many fleshy, bright red, pea-sized berries that remain persistent through winter. Female plants will need a nearby male pollinator to set fruit.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous white flowers appear on new growth in late winter to early spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Prickly
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Broad dull green leaves 2 to 4 inches long with one spine at the tip and few if any on the leaves.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Thin bark can be easily damaged.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Security
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Street Tree
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Drought
    Pollution
    Urban Conditions
  • 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