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Ilex x koehneana 'Martha Berry'

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

Ilex x koehneana is a cross between I. aquifolium x I. latifolia that results in a broadleaf evergreen holly tree that grows up to 20 feet or more, depending on location. The 'Martha Berry' cultivar ranks among the best of the species. It is a hardy plant with a pyramidal form that is compact, dense, well-shaped, and pleasing to the eye.  The dark green leaves along with the brilliant red berries add to its attractiveness. Locate in an area that is protected from cold winter winds and hot summer sun.

Hollies are 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). 'Martha Berry' is a female holly and requires a male pollinator nearby to produce berries. According to the Holly Society of America, there are a number of koehneana male cultivars that can provide pollination; 'Loch Raven', 'Jade', 'Chieftain', and 'Ajax' have foliage and a habit very similar to 'Martha Berry', and bloom at the right time. 'Loch Raven', in particular, matches the leaf size and shape of 'Martha Berry' and the leaves of both are deep green.

'Martha Berry' tolerates 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. Prune in the late winter to control its size if needed. 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.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

Not as cold hardy as 'Nellie R. Stevens'. Insects that may affect this plant are holly leaf miner, spider mites, whitefly, and scale.  Leaf drop and leaf scorch may be an issue.  Yellowing of the leaves due to high pH soils can also affect the plant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#winter interest#showy fruits#specialized bees#deer resistant#pollinator plant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#bee friendly#tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#winter interest#showy fruits#specialized bees#deer resistant#pollinator plant#clay soils tolerant#bird friendly#bee friendly#tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ilex
    Species:
    I. aquifolium x I. latifolia
    Family:
    Aquifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are attractive to birds. Flowers attract bees. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Screening
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer damage
    Edibility:
    Use caution. Berries are slightly toxic to humans if eaten in quantity.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 18 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • 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:
    Clusters of brilliant red fruit are persistent. Requires an appropriate male plant nearby to 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:
    The small, greenish-white, flowers bloom in the spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches long, dark, olive to almost blue-green and slightly wavy.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    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