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Ilex x 'Carolina Sentinel'

Common Name(s):

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

The Carolina Sentinel Holly is an Ilex cultivar resulting from a cross between I. verticillata and I. serrata. It has a narrow, dense and columnar form. For comparison, the form is more narrow and dense than the 'Nellie R. Stevens' cultivar. The Carolina Sentinel Holly is an evergreen shrub or small tree with leaves that are a deep green, almost a blue-green and inconspicuous white flowers. Female plants produce a heavy crop of red berries in the fall through the winter. 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 fruit is required). It is excellent for hedges, particularly in narrow spaces. It tolerates pruning and, in the landscape, can be grown as a hedge or trained to be a small tree. It is a JC Raulston Arboretum Selection.

This holly is tolerant of most soils except poorly-drained ones and can be grown in full to partial sun. It is tolerant of heat and humidity and is drought tolerant once established, making it a good choice for the south. 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 as an impenetrable hedge. 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 diseases or pest issues. Depending on the planting location, this shrub can exhibit chlorosis, leaf drop, or leaf scorch from high pH soils.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#wildlife plant#nectar plant#specialized bees#deer resistant#pollinator plant#bird friendly#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#wildlife plant#nectar plant#specialized bees#deer resistant#pollinator plant#bird friendly#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    I. verticillata X I. serrata
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern China, Korea
    Distribution:
    Southeastern United States
    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:
    Buffer
    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: 8 ft. 0 in. - 20 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:
    Columnar
    Dense
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    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
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • 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:
    Abundant 1/3 inch fruits are bright to dull-red berry-like drupes. They are produced on female plants. Fruits persist into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    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, white flowers in spring, 4-parted, radial, axillary, 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch. 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
    Leathery
    Prickly
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Dark, glossy, green leaves above and yellow-green below. Leaves are alternate, spiny, coriaceous, and simple. 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, oblong-rectangular in shape with strong spines on the apex and at the base. The apex is spinose, points downward, and terminates in a spine.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Slender, green stems turning reddish-green in the winter, buds small, leaf scar with 1 bundle scar. Branchlets are dense.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
  • 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