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Ilex aquifolium

Common Name(s):
English holly
Cultivar(s):
'Aquifodina', 'Argentea', 'Britebush', 'Crinkle Variegated', 'Ferox Argentena', 'Marginata', 'Dapper', 'Ivory', 'Moonbeam', 'Zelta's Elite'
Categories:
Shrubs, Trees
Comment:

English holly is an ornamental tree or tall hedge in the Aquifoliaceae family.  It has glossy green leaves and thorns.  It is effective as a specimen plant, grouped as a tall hedge, or foundation planting.  It dislikes high temperatures and high humidity so use only in protected locations.  You need to plant male and female plants to produce berries which provide color and fall interest.  It tolerates air pollution.  Prune in the winter as needed to maintain shape.

Seasons of Interest:

Leaves:  Evergreen Fruit/Nut/Seed:  Fall

Wildlife Value:  Fruits are attractive to birds. Members of the genus Ilex support the following specialized bee: Colletes banksi.

Insects, Disesases, and Other Plant Problems: It can be challanging to grow in the south because it dislikes hot summers and cold winters. 

Height:
15-50 ft.
Foliage:
Dark green 1-3 in. alternate, simple, glossy, dark green wavy leaves with spines
Flower:
Insignificant greenish-white fragrant flowers, producing red, yellow, or orange berries (drupes) 1/4 inch diameter that ripen in fall, persist into winter and are attractive to birds
Zones:
6-8
Habit:
Evergreen
Site:
Sun to partial shade especially in hot summers. Protect from cold winter winds. Well-drained soil; will not tolerate poor drainage
Texture:
Medium to coarse
Form:
Erect, dense pyramidal; heavily branched
Width:
15-25 ft.
Growth Rate:
Slow in south
Tags:
foundation, air pollution, pollinator, specialized bees, berries, bees, specimen, birds, nectar, hedge, fragrant, wildlife, fall interest, thorns, winter interest, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 2010

Ilex aquifolium Foliage and fruit
Photo by Iain Turner, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Ilex aquifolium Growth habit, foreground
Photo by Peter Birch, CC BY-NC-ND - 2.0