Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hollies - the Ilex family

This is a continuing blog post where I will be adding further species and info. The Hollys are an extremely large and diverse group of evergreen and deciduous shrubs that are widespread throughout the Northern Hemisphere and also South America, South Africa and even in Borneo. Some thrive in cold regions, some only in the tropics. Selection is important because much of having a Holly thrive in your yard, is choosing the right one.
Many Hollies have male and female flowers on separate trees, so that having both sexes are important to getting berries. Often times one neighborhood will have enough Hollies present where this may not be a worry. Still there are some such as the Burford Holly that are self-fertile and will fruit without a pollinators.
Most Hollies require just about any fertile, well drained soil. The ones that require acidic soil will be mentioned in the below descriptions, since some such as Ilex aquifolium really don't care about soil acidity. For the Hollies that require acidic soil, it is recommend to test your soil before planting since alkalinity may cause chlorosis ( stunting of growth along with yellowing of the leaves ).
Propagation from seed is slow and may take 2 or even 3 years to get germination. Propagation from half hardened cuttings taken late summer or early fall is recommended for cultivars to get pure bred stock.




Ilex 'Adonis'
The hybrid between Ilex 'Nellie Stevens & Ilex latifolia, originating at the U.S. National Arboretum.
It forms a broad-columnar tree, reaching up to 25 x 10 feet in 15 years, eventually much larger.
The weakly-spined, sharply-toothed, broad-elliptical leaves are large The foliage is glossy mid-green.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

Ilex x altaclarensis
The group of dense, small to medium-sized evergreen trees that are the hybrids between Ilex aquifolium & Ilex perado. Some records include: largest on record - 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.5 feet.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun to partial shade. Tolerant of pollution, wind, urban and seashore conditions.

'Atkinsonii'
Green spiny leaves to 5.5 x 3.5 inches. Purple-green stems

'Balearica'
Vigorous upright tree that is pyramidal when young, it can reach as much as 70 x 50 feet with great age.
The foliage is large, broadly oval and either spineless or with some spines.
The abundant berries are large and bright red.

'Belgica'
Dense & upright in habit; this Holly can eventually reach up to 65 x 50 feet.
The oblong leaves are glossy mid green, with either some spines or none.
The abundant round berries are large and orange-red. The young stems are green.

'Belgica Aurea' ( Silver Sentinal Holly )
A dense upright tree up to 70 x 50 feet with extreme age.
The large leaves, up to 4.5 x 1.7 inches, are glossy deep gray-green with a broad irregular yellow margin. The stems are green.
Female plants will produce red berries.

'Camelliifolia'
A very attractive, fast growing, medium-sized tree, sometimes to 60 x 40 feet in 20 years, and eventually to 70 x 50 feet ( possibly larger ). with no spines. The large, smooth-edged, oval leaves, up to 5.5 x 4 inches in size, looks more like that of a Japanese Camellia than a Holly. The foliage is reddish-purple at first, turning to glossy deep green. The leaves are not spines.
The showy, abundant, large ( up to 0.5 inches wide, ) berries are scarlet-red.
Hardy from zones 6-10





'Camelliifolia Variegata'
Slow growing and pyramidal to 15 x 10 feet. The foliage is large & oblong. It is glossy dark green marbled light green and with a broad yellow margin. Fruiting is rare.

'East Palatka'
Fast growing, with rates up to 3 feet per year, though averaging slower, reaching up to 30 feet in 20 years, eventually 50.
Hardy to zone 6
( tolerating -14 F ).

'Hendersonii'
A vigorous tree reaching up to 65 feet with red berries.
The leaves are up to 5.5 x 2.5 inches.

'Hodginsonii'
Reaches up to 66 feet with a trunk diameter up to 2.5 feet.

'Lawsoniana'
A dense bushy tree reaching up to 33 x 15 feet with light green leaves splashed gold in the centers.
The occasional berries are brown-red and the stems are yellow streaked.
It can sometimes revert back to green form so any all green shoots should be removed.

* photos courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic


'N.N. Barnes'
Dense and shrubby, reaching up to 18 x 12 feet.
The leaves are oval with only one spine at the tip. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The berries are red and the young stems are purple.

'Platyphylla'
Broad spine-toothed leaves are glossy deep green.

'Purple Shaft'
Vigorous and columnar in habit.
Fruits profusely

'WJ Bean'
Spiny leaves. A female clone with berries.

'Wilsonii'
A form with spiny, glossy green leaves, reaching up to 25 x 15 feet.
A female form that profusely bears scarlet-red berries.

* photo courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic


Ilex ambigua ( Carolina Holly )
A rounded, deciduous, large shrub to small tree, reaching around 25 feet, that is native to sandy, upland woods in the southeastern U.S. ( eastern Oklahoma to Kentucky to North Carolina; south to eastern Texas to central Florida). Some records include: largest on record 55 x 25 feet with trunk diameter of 2 feet. It is endangered in Florida.
The elliptical leaves, up to 7 x 3 ( rarely over 5 x 2 ) inches in size, are glossy deep green. The leaves can be either wavy-edged or toothed. The rounded berries, up to 0.4 inches wide, are scarlet-red.
The deep brown to blackish bark is smooth when young, flaking with age. The twigs are purple.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in partial shade on well drained soil.

Ilex amelanchier ( Sarvis Holly )
An endangered wetlands shrub native to southeast U.S ( Louisiana to Virginia & south into Florida on the Coastal Plain ). It is deciduous and can grow to 20 x 15 feet with a record trunk diameter of 6 inches. The Sarvis Holly is similar in appearance to Ilex verticillata.
The elliptical leaves are up to 4 x 1.8 inches in size.
The dull red berries, up to 0.4 inches wide, appear in October & may persist until the following spring.
Hardy zones 6 to 9, preferring swampy soils with a PH from 3.5 to 6.5 and

* USDA NRCS. Wetland flora


Ilex aquifolium ( English Holly )
A very attractive evergreen tree, the English Holly is only adapted in the East from zones 6 to 7 ( or zone 5 in the clones 'Sibirica and cultivar 'Twenty Below' ). Further south it grows poorly in the relentless deep South however many other similar looking Hollies grow well there so no worries.
In ideal climates this native of s & w Europe can grow moderately ( rarely 3 feet in a year ) to a size of 13 x 3 feet in 5 years; 40 x 17 feet in 20 years and 70 feet in 100 years. The English Hollies recorded have lived hundreds of years and grown as large as 120 x 40 feet with trunk diameters up to 4.5 feet. Long-lived, it can exceed 300 years of age. In the Pacific Northwest region of North America, it can be to invasive in self reproducing and taking over natural habitats. In these areas either non-berry clones or other species of Hollies are recommended.
The oval leaves, up to 4 x 2 inches in size, are glossy deep green. The foliage on young plants is spiny but often spineless on old plants.
The showy, scarlet-red berries, up to 0.4 inches wide, ripen during autumn and persist through the winter.
The smooth bark is silvery-gray.
Unlike Ilex opaca this Holly is very salt spray tolerant so it can grow very well along the ocean. It is also industrial pollution as well as very soil tolerant as long as it is well drained. The English Holly prefers high humidity and is not recommended for the southern Plains and desert southwest.
This Holly unlike similar looking Ilex opaca, prefers maritime climates and while it does grow in the Mid Atlantic; it does especially well on the West Coast and Cape Cod & Long Island in the East. Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( 5 in 'Sibirica' ).



* photos taken on Apr 15 2014 in Catonsville, MD

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 in Columbia

* historical archive photo


'Angustifolia'
Densely-pyramidal with lance-shaped, blackish-green, weakly-spined leaves.
Records include: growth rate - 1 foot ( average ); largest on record - 57 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
Hardy zones 6 to 9, no damage recorded at -7 F. Surprisingly tolerant of severe
and even reflected heat in the Mid Atlantic as far south as North Carolina.
Very easily rooted from cuttings.

'Argentea Marginata'
A columnar tree reaching around the same size as Ilex aquifolium.
Pink young leaves become mid-green with narrow cream-yellow margins.
This female clone bears abundant scarlet berries.
The stems are green.

* photos courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic

* photo taken on Mar 19 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Apr 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 21 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Argentea Marginata Pendula' ( Perry's Weeping Holly )
A dense, domed weeping tree to 26 x 16 feet with a trunk diameter of 15 inches.
It has spiny cream edged elliptic shape leaves that are lush shiny green in the middle. The leaves are pinkish when young.
The stems are purplish and being a female plant this Holly does get red berries.

* photos taken on May 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

'Aurifodina'
Also called Ilex aquifolia 'Muricata'
A dense, erect, small tree reaching around 20 x 10 feet.
The spined, elliptic leaves are olive green margined with golden-yellow.
The margins turn to tawny-yellow in winter.
The abundant berries are deep scarlet red.
The stems are purplish when young.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Bacciflava'
Identical to the species but with abundant golden berries which contrast very well with the dark green foliage.

'Crispa Aurea Picta'
An open upright tree reaching up to 30 x 20 feet. Largest on record - 57 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches.
The sparsely-spined, twisted, narrow oval leaves are very deep green and centrally splashed with lime green and yellow.
This cultivar does not produce berries.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Elegantissima'
A dense, compact tree reaching around 20 x 15 feet.
The small, wavy margined, spiny, oval leaves are pinkish when young, later turning bright green with a bold creamy-white margin.
The stems are green streaked with yellow when young.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Ferox'
Extremely spiny dark green foliage. Personally I prefer the better shaped Dragon Lady Holly to this one. The largest on record is 50 feet.



'Ferox Argentea'
Creamy margins on very spiny lush green glossy leaves.
Largest on record - 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.

* photo courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic


'Flavescens' ( Moonlight Holly )
A female plant with green foliage that is flushed with yellow. The elliptic leaves are not strongly spined and the margins are often smooth. The leaf stalk and midrib is often also yellow. The young stems are green.
Largest on record - 37 feet with a trunk diameter of 14 inches.

'Gold Coast'

* photo taken on Apr 11 2015 in Elkridge, MD


'Golden Milkmaid'
Boldly golden variegated, reaching up to 75 feet in height.

'Golden Queen'
Leaves up to 4 x 2.7 inches in size with broad golden margins.
Largest on record - 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.5 feet.

'Goldflash'
lush green leaves with gold centers

'Handsworth New Silver'
Long spiny cream-edged lush dark green leaves. The leaf margin is sometimes tinged pink. Dark purple stems & being a female this one has plenty of red berries.
Largest on record - 30 x 15 feet with a trunk diameter of 13 inches.



'J.C. Van Tol'
Broad growing female tree reaching up to 30 x 13 feet.
The oval leaves, up to 3 x 1.6 inches in size, are glossy green with deeply impressed leaf veins. It has few or no spines and the berries are an intense scarlet-red. Self-fertile, it will produce berries without a pollinater.

'Madame Briote'
A vigorous bushy tree that reaches the same size as Ilex aquifolia.
The broadly oval, spiny, large leaves are luxuriant deep green with bold golden-yellow margins and mottling.
The abundant berries are bright scarlet-red.
The stems are purplish when young.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

* photos courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic


'Ovata Aurea'
A dense shrubby tree reaching up to 17 x 12 feet.
The short spined, thick, oval leaves are glossy deep green and very brightly variegated with golden yellow.
This cultivar does not produce berries.
The stems are deep purple when young.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Pyramidalis'
A dense conical tree reaching around 50 x 15 feet that widens with age.
The slightly spiny, narrow elliptic leaves are glossy mid green.
It is self fruiting and the abundant berries are scarlet red.
The stems are green.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Pyramidalis Aurea Marginata'
A vigorous, upright, pyramidal tree to 20 x 15 feet.
The narrow elliptic leaves that are spiny on the upper half are shiny medium green with a bold irregular golden-yellow margin.
The abundant berries are scarlet-red.
The stems are green.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Pyramidalis Fructo Luteo'
conical female tree with yellow berries. The oval, glossy dark green leaves contrast very well with the abundant berry crop.

'San Gabriel'

'Scotia'
A compact, stiffly upright small tree reaching up to 15 x 10 feet.
The thick, leathery, mostly spineless oval leaves are very deep green.
The rounded berries are red.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

'Sibirica'
is similar but can survive -27 F

'Silver Milkboy'
spiny mid-green leaves with silver margins originating from green-yellow stems.

'Silver Milkmaid'
A dense, shrubby small tree reaching up to 20 x 12 feet or more. Largest on record - 75 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches.
The very spiny, wavy edged, elliptic foliage is dark green with creamy-white centers.
The foliage is pinkish when young.
This clone is a female with plentiful scarlet berries.
Cut out any all green shoots that appear as this Holly often reverts.

'Silver Queen'
Also called Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Regina'
A dense, shrubby tree typically reaching around 22 x 12 feet; the largest on record is 57 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.5 feet.
. The foliage is pale orange-pink when young later turning to very deep green with broad creamy-white margins.
This cultivar does not produce berries.
The young stems are deep purple in color.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Estate, Elkridge, MD


'Sparkler'

'Twenty Below'
similar but can tolerate -23F

'Variegata' ( Variegated English Holly )
A slower growing yellow edge leaf form of the English Holly ( Ilex aquifolium ). It can grow to 13 x 3 feet in 5 years to an eventual size of 40 x 20 feet.



* photo taken on Jun 17 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 4 2013 in Columbia, MD



'Watereriana'
A dense, compact slow growing tree reaching around 15 x 15 feet.
The spiny to almost spineless oval leaves are gray-green and broadly margined and irregularily mottled golden-yellow.
This cultivar does not produce berries.
The stems are green streaked with yellow when young.
Hardy zone 6 to 9

Ilex x aquipernyi
A hybrid between Ilex aquifolium & I. pernyi.
This Holly hybrid typically forms a dense pyramidal tree to 20 x 17 feet in 20 years and 40 x 15 feet at most at maturity. The foliage is triangular, spiny, glossy green and up to 4 inches in length.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9; this Holly is very hardy though leaf burn does become serious at around -10 F. Large trees even grow in northern Ohio.

* photo taken on Apr 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on Mar 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'Carolina Sentinel'
A moderate growing, tightly-columnar tree, reaching up to 14 feet in 10 years and a maximum size of 20 x 6 feet.
It is not as spiny as 'Dragon Lady' and the glossy deep green foliage contrasts nicely with the bright red berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( 5 possible on protected site ), very pest and disease resistant.

'Dragon Lady' ( Dragon Lady Holly )
A fast growing, dense, narrow-pyramidal, evergreen, small tree, reaching up to 20 x 8 feet in 20 years. Some records include: largest on record - 30 feet; fastest growth rate - 6 ( rarely over 2.5 ) feet. It is useful or framing the corner of a home or as a dense inpenetrable screen.
The extremely spiny leaves are glossy deep green.
It produces abundant scarlet-red berries during autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( some leaf damage occurs at -10 F ). Ilex mes. 'Blue Stallion' makes an excellent pollinator.

* photo taken by in Columbia, MD on July 2008

* photos taken on May 5 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD

* photo taken on Apr 7 2015 in Wilkes-Barre, PA

* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Estate, Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'San Jose'
A female plant with large scarlet berries. Foliage is shiny dark green to 1.5 x 1.5 inches with up to 9 spines. The foliage is much more similar to Pernyi Holly than the English Holly.

* photo taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 14 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 4 2015 in Columbia, MD


Ilex asprella ( Rough-Leaved Holly )
A medium-sized, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 13 feet, that is native to southeast China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Phillipines.
The finely-toothed, ovate to elliptical leaves, up to 3 x 2 inches in size, are glossy bright green. The flowers can be white or pink. They are followed by black berries, up to 0.3 inches wide, on female plants only. Hardy zones 7 to 10 in full sun to partial shade.

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ilex x attenuata
A natural hybrid between Ilex cassina & I. opaca forming a evergreen conical tree to 35 x 15 feet in 20 years and eventually up to 66 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 1.6 feet. This hybrid can be fast growing with up to 4 feet seasonal growth increase recorded; one tree was reported to have reached 44 feet in 15 years.
The foliage is light green and oval up to 3 inches in length.
The berries are dark red.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 in full sun to partial shade. It is urban tolerant.

'East Palatka'
looser in habit than Fosters Holly. Has large scarlet berries to 0.25 inches.
Fast growing ( up to 3 foot seasonal growth increase being recorded ); the largest on record is 50 x 25 feet with a massive stocky trunk of 4 feet in width.

'Fosteri2' ( Foster Holly )
A somewhat fast growing, medium-sized, pyramidal tree, reaching up to 8.3 x 6 feet in 5 years, 20 x 10 feet in 10 years and 45 x 26 feet in 30 years.
The toothed, narrowly-elliptical or obovate leaves, up to 3 x 0.7 inches in size, are glossy deep green.
It is very heavily fruiting just like Ilex cassine which is one of its parents. The fruit typically ripen during early autumn, persisting into early spring.
Hardy zones 6 to 9, tolerating as low as -20 F.


* photo taken on Apr 16 2013 in Columbia, MD * photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Apr 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Savannah'
This cultiver is even more tolerant of clay and humid summers and can grow to 56 x 48 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.1 feet.
The foliage reaches up to 4 x 1.5 inches.
Has a very abundant crop of large glowing scarlet berries to 0.33 inches in size.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9. Should be fertilized it foliage becomes light green in color due to nitrogen deficiency.

'Sunny Foster'
Similar to regular 'Fosteri' but with golden new foliage that turns to green as it ages.
It is somewhat slower growing but still vigorous, reaching up to 20 x 10 feet in 15 years and to 30 feet at maturity.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum



* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ilex brandeegeana
Native to the Baja California; this Holly is related to ilex cassine and reaches up to 50 feet.
The leaves, up to 3.5 x 1 inch in size, are mid-green.

* historic archive photo


Ilex buergeri
A fast growing, conical, evergreen tree, reaching up to 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot. Larger trees as much as 170 feet have been reported which would make this the worlds largest Holly. Some records include: 4 years - 9 feet; fastest growth rate - 3 feet. Buerger's Holly is native to eastern China and Japan.
The finely-toothed, oblong leaves are up to 3.5 x 2.5 inches. The leathery foliage is luxuriant glossy deep green.
The flowers are creamy-yellow.
Female plants produce red berries.
The bark is smooth and dark brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, it requires hot humid summers.

Ilex cassine ( Dahoon )
A small, evergreen tree, averaging around 15 x 20 feet, that is native to the southeastern U.S. ( from Louisiana to coastal North Carolina and south ). Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet; 4 years - 9 feet; largest on record - 75 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.3 feet.
The pointed, ovate leaves, up to 4 x 1 inches ( rarely to 6 x 1.5 inches ), are glossy deep green and have a pronounced midrib. The leaves can either be smooth-edged or toothed towards the tip.
The berries, up to 0.3 inches wide, are red.
The bark is gray and marked with numerous lenticels.
Hardy zones 6 to 10 on acidic, well drained soil. Thrives in sand or clay; is moderately salt tolerant and tolerates floods.

* photos taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida


* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ilex 'Christmas Jewel'
An attractive, compact, upright-pyramidal, small evergreen tree, reaching up to 15 x 8 feet if not sheared smaller. Some records include: 15 years - 10 x 6 feet; fastest growth rate - 14 inches.
The toothed, blunt-spined, narrow leaves, up to 2 x 1.3 inches, are glossy deep green.
This female clone produces abundant scarlet-red berries that color by late autumn and persisting into late spring or early summer. It does not need a pollinator.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo taken on Oct 6 2012 in Howard Co., MD


Ilex ciliospinosa ( September Gem Holly )
A fast growing, upright, evergreen, small tree, reaching up to 23 x 20 feet in size, that is native to mountains in central China. Some records include: 20 years - 17 feet; largest on record is 30 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 13 inches.
The weakly-spined leathery leaves, up to 2 x 1 inch in size, are deep green.
The small berries, up to 0.3 x 0.2 inches in size, are scarlet-red.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil.

Ilex colchica ( Black Sea Holly )
A moderate growing, rounded to conical, evergreen, large shrub from the Black Sea region that reaches up to 20 x 8 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 9.5 feet.
The strongly-spined, elliptical leaves, are up to 3.2 inches in length.
The very attractive foliage is glossy very deep green, turning purplish during winter.
The red berries are only produced on male plants.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9 ( reports of 5 ) in full sun to partial shade on moist, acidic, well drained soil. It thrives in the hot humid summers of the Mid Atlantic and Southeastern U.S

* photos courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic


Ilex collina ( Longstalk Holly )
An upright, deciduous, large shrub or small tree, reaching up to 13 x 13 feet, that is native to the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern U.S. ( central West Virginia, southwestern Virginia and far western North Carolina ). It is found at high altitude bogs and streamside thickets the wild. It is globally endangered with only 37 known individual populations remaining. It makes an attractive landscape plant.
The toothed, pointed, oval leaves are glossy deep green.
The small, yellowish-green flowers are borne during late spring.
They are followed by showy yellow to scarlet-red berries, up to 0.4 inches wide. Hardy zones 5 to 6 ( possibly 4 & 5 though has not been fully tested outside its natural range ) in partial shade on moist to wet, acidic soil.

Ilex corallina
An evergreen tree native to west & southwest China that can reach up to 40 feet with a trunk diameter up to a foot. This Holly has already reached 30 feet in England.
The leathery, ovate or elliptical leaves, up to 6 x 2 inches in size, are glossy deep green.
The leaves are very spiny on younger plants and becoming weakly spined or toothed on mature plants.
The berries, up to 0.2 inches across, are purplish-red.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9

Ilex coriacea ( Large Gallberry )
Similar to Ilex glabra and native to sandy and swampy areas throughout the Coastal Plain in the southeastern U.S. ( from eastern Texas to southeast Virginia; south to eastern Texas to northern Florida ). It can reach up to 20 ( rarely over 15 ) feet in height. The rare large shrub to small tree makes a great evergreen hedge. Some records include: largest on record - 35 x 23 feet with a trunk diameter of 0.4 feet.
The leaves, up to 4 x 1.5 ( rarely over 2 x 1 ) inches in size, are similar but larger and more toothed than Ilex glabra. The foliage is very glossy deep green.
It also flowers several weeks earlier than Ilex glabra in the spring.
The rounded, black berries, up to 0.3 inches in width, persist through the winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 9, it tests much hardier than its native range suggests.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Ilex cornuta ( Horned Holly )
A highly variable evergreen large shrub or small tree that is native to China and Korea. Some can become medium-sized trees with the largest recorded being up to 60 feet high with trunk diameters up to 4 feet within its native range.
The bark is smooth and dark gray.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on fertile, deep, well drained soil. the Ilex cornuta is very tolerant of heat, drought, salt and is even tolerant of alkaline soils. A hardy plant, it even thrives in the harsh south central plains climate of Oklahoma. Future selections made from exceptionally cold hardy plants in the Korean part of its natural range, may extend the range of Horned Holly through most of zone 6. It also makes an excellent for seaside locations being tolerant of salt spray. The fruit production is often very heavy to the point of stressing the plant and can result in yellowish foliage during late summer. It is recommended to give it a heavy feeding of nitrogen if you notice this.


* photo taken on Mar 24 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'Burfordii' ( Burford Holly )
A fast growing, dense, rounded, large shrub to small tree, reaching up to 25 x 25 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 15 x 15 feet; largest on record - 30 x 32 feet with trunk diameters reaching up to 2.3 feet; 20 years - 20 x 17 feet; fastest growth rate - 4 ( rarely over 2 ) feet. Older plants are usually limbed up and thinned out to provide for overhead clearance. For hedging, the 'Dwarf Burford' ( listed below ) makes a much better choice as its slower growth rate requires much less shearing.
The smooth-edged, elliptical leaves are up to 5 ( rarely over 3 ) inches in length. The very attractive foliage is verdant bright green at first, later turning to glossy deep green.
It produces abundant, long-lasting, scarlet-red berries, even if no pollinator exist nearby.
Hardy zones 6a to 9 though reports do exist from zone 5 on very protected sites or within urban heat islands.



* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010

* photo of unknown origin


* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum




* photo taken on April 11 2010 in Washington, D.C.


* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Wash., DC

* photo taken on Apr 11 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Carissa' ( Carissa Holly )
A fast growing, dense, mounded to rounded, small to medium shrub, reaching only to 4 x 6 feet in 10 years, with an eventual maximum size of 5 x 8. It makes a great foundation shrub and is also well suited to traffic islands.
The smooth-edged, ovate leaves, up to 3 x 1.5 inches, have only a single spine which is at the tip. The very leathery, almost plastic-like foliage is glossy deep green.
During autumn it does produce scarlet-red berries however they are not abundant.
It is even hardy north to zone 6a where it can recover quickly from winter wind burn. Heat & drought tolerant; also good in sun or shade.


* photo taken on Oct 6 2012 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Dazzler'
A moderate growing, large shrub that is upright, irregular to oval in habit, reaching up to 20 feet in height. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 10 feet.
The very spiny ( 5 spined ) leaves are very similar in shape to that of 'Rotunda'. The foliage is glossy deep green.
During autumn, it produces very abundant, scarlet-red berries, up to 0.5 inches wide, that persist through the winter. Berries are produced even without a pollinater nearby.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, it performs well even in the southern Plains.

'D'Or'
A large shrub to small tree, reaching up to 22 x 15 feet.
It is mostly identical to 'Burfordii' except that the berries are golden-yellow.

'Dwarf Burford' ( Dwarf Burford Holly )
Similar to 'Burfordi' but shorter with a denser habit and smaller leaves. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 5 ( rarely over 5 ); largest on record - 15 x 24 ( usually half ) feet. It also produces abundant berries and makes a great hedge or larger size foundation plant Hardy zones 6 to 9. The Burfords are very heat, salt, drought and alkaline tolerant. They are hardy to zone 6 however with reports of some plants surviving -23 F. They grow well in any rich well drained soil in full sun or part shade.

* photo of unknown origin

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photos taken on June 19 2010 in Clarksville, MD


* photo taken on July 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Fineline'
Almost spineless foliage on a large shrub, up to 12.5 x 10 feet in 15 years, eventually reaching up to 20 x 15 feet. It is usually upright, narrowly-pyramidal in habit, unlike the otherwise similar but more rounded 'Needlepoint'.
The oval or elliptical leaves are up to 2.5 inches in length. They only have one spine which is at the tip. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The scarlet-red fruits are very persistent, lasting through the winter. Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( 6 on protected sites ).

'Needle Point' ( Needle Point Holly )
A fast growing, dense, upright, pyramidal to rounded, large shrub/small tree. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet; 10 years - 10 x 10 feet; 20 years - 25 x 15 ( rarely over 15 ) feet. The eventual size is probably about the same as a Burford.
The smooth-edged, narrow leaves, up to 2.5 inches in length, have only 1 spine which is at the tip. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The abundant scarlet-red berries, up to 0.25 inches across, are very persistent and often last through the winter.
hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Oct 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 17 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 19 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 6 2016 in Burtonsville, MD

* photo taken on Nov 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on May 18 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on June 6 2017 in Howard Co., MD


'O' Spring'
A moderate growing, large shrub or small tree; reaching up to 25 x 12 feet.
It is similar to 'Burfordii' except the foliage is somewhat more spiny and is heavily splashed golden-yellow and gray-green.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC


'Rotunda'( Chinese Horned Holly )
A somewhat slow growing, dense, compact, broad-mounded to rounded form, forms a medium-sized shrub, that makes an excellent hedge for keeping intruders out. Some records include: 10 years - 6.5 x 8 ( rarely over 4 x 5 ) feet; largest on record - 9 x 19 feet with a stocky trunk to 1.5 feet wide.
The extremely-spiny leaves, up to 5 inches in length, are very glossy deep green.
A female clone, it sometimes produces long-lasting scarlet-red berries during autumn.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photos taken on Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on July 4 2010 in Washington, D.C.


* photos taken on May 21 2011 in Howard County, MD



* photos taken on April 27 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'Willowleaf'
A large shrub, reaching up to 15 x 15 feet. The long, narrow leaves, up to 3 inches in length, are glossy deep green. The bears abundant, deep-red berries up to 0.5 inches across, during autumn and lasting well into winter.

Ilex crenata ( Japanese Holly )
A variable, evergreen, shrub or small tree, that is native to Sakhalin, eastern China, Korea and Japan. While it rarely exceeds 30 feet in height, some records include: largest on record - 60 x 32 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches.
The small, oval leaves, up to 1.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green above, pale green beneath. They appear like that of Boxwood except for being minutely-toothed.
The tiny, white flowers appear during late spring.
They are followed by glossy black berries, up to 0.2 inches wide, that ripen during autumn and persist well into winter. The berries do provide an excellent food source for winter birds.
The smooth bark is dark gray.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( due to its large natural range some seed source may not be hardy north of zone 7 ). In colder climates, Japanese Holly should be deeply mulched during the winter as 20 F or lower soil temperatures can cause damage to the roots even if the stems are hardier to much lower temperatures. Much attention should be given to watering in the first 2 seasons. Potbound nursery grown shrubs dry out quickly even within a day in full sun; they also do not wilt if dry. With little warning other than an off green color; newly planted Ilex crenata's are often already dead by the time it is noticed that they need water. Just pay attention and used a shredded hardwood mulch to cool the soil and maybe thin the canopy a bit at planting time to lower the plants water usage a little. Once established; these plants develop a deep root system and become very drought tolerant though special care should be given during fall droughts before ground freeze. Japanese Holly is highly tolerant of salty ocean breezes and also moderately tolerant of road salt.

* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on June 21 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 11 2013 in Columbia, MD

* historical archive photo


'Adorned'
Originating as a sport on 'Hoogendorn', it has bright golden-foliage but is otherwise similar to its parent.
Hardy zones 6a +.

'Beehive'
A mounding to broad-pyramidal shrub, reacihing a maximum size of 6 x 7 feet. Some records include: 25 years - 4 x 6 feet.
The small, rounded leaves, up to 0.8 inches in length, are glossy blackish-green.
It is a male selection that does not fruit.

* photos taken on July 25 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Bennett's Compact'
Fast growing, compact and rounded, it reaches a maximum size of 4 x 5 feet.
The elliptical leaves are glossy deep green.
It is a male clone and does not produce berries.
Hardy zones 5b to 7.
br />'Buxifolia'
Compact and pyramidal, eventually reaching up to 15 x 10 feet if left unpruned.

'Chesapeake' ( Chesapeake Japanese Holly )
A moderate growing, dense, upright, conical to oval, large evergreen shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 10 feet. It makes a great hedge or screen.
The foliage is deep green.
It bears glossy black berries.
Hardy zones 6 +.



'Compacta' ( Compact Japanese Holly )
No longer a pure cultivar, it has become a group of variable but always dense, rounded, medium-sized clones. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; 10 years - 5 x 6 ( rarely over 4 ) feet; largest on record - 8 x 11 feet.
The boxwood-like foliage is deep green.


* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010


* photos taken on June 19 2010 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photos taken on Apr 8 2015 in Towson, MD

* photo taken on July 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Convexa' ( Bullate Japanese Holly )
A dense, upright, spreading, large shrub. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 5 feet ( avg ); 40 years - 9 x 24 feet; largest on record - 10 x 24 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.7 feet.
The small, oval leaves, up to 0.8 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
It bears abundant black fruit on purple-green stems.
Hardy from zone 5 to 8 ( tolerating -17 F )

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo taken on Aug 1 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Drops of Gold'
A moderate growing, compact, upright, spreading shrub, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 6 feet. Some records include: 5 years - 1.5 x 2.7 feet; 10 years - 2 x 4 feet.
It originated at an Ohio Nursery and is presumably an offspring of 'Hetzii'.
The leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are intense golden-yellow at first, becoming pale yellow later in summer.
The interior foliage ( or all foliage on shade grown plants ) tend to be bright green.
A female clone, it bears black berries.
Hardy zones 6 +.

'Fosteri'
Similar to 'Helleri' but hardy to -24 F.
It is very dense and rounded, but can eventually reach up to 10 x 10 ( rarely over 5 ) feet in size.
It produces abundant black berries with a pollinator nearby.

'Geisha'
A slow growing, compact, mounded shrub, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 4 feet.
The oblong leaves, up to 1.3 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
It bears abundant, bright yellow berries, up to 0.25 inches wide.
Hardy zones 6 + ( 5 b on protected sites ).

'Glory' ( Glory Japanese Holly )
A dense, rounded shrub, reaching up to 6 x 8 feet or larger. It is similar to 'Compacta' but hardier; tolerating as low as -26 F. Some records include: 10 years - 5 x 7 feet.
the leaves, up to 0.7 x 0.4 inches in size, are glossy deep green.

* photo taken on Nov 4 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 12 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Golden Gem' ( Golden Gem Helleri Jap. Holly )
The yellow foliaged form of 'Helleri'; it may also be more vigorous, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 6 feet in 14 years, eventually broader though not much taller.
The obovate or elliptical leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are golden-yellow.


* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Green Luster' ( Green Luster Japanese Holly )
Similar to 'Compacta', it is a dense, rounded, medium-sized shrub. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; 10 years - 4 x 6 feet; largest on record - 8 x 12 ( rarely over 6 x 8 ) feet.
The elliptical leaves are glossy deep green.
It bears black berries during autumn and winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( 5b on protected sites - can tolerate as low as -20 F. )

* photo taken on Nov 22 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Helleri' ( Helleri Japanese Holly )
A moderate growing, stiff branched, small to medium-sized shrub, that rarely exceeds 4 feet in height. Some records include: 10 years - 3 x 4 feet; 15 years - 5 x 6 feet; largest on record - 7.5 x 13 feet.
The small foliage is glossy deep green.
It produces black berries during autumn.
Hardy zones 5b + ( it should be protected from sudden freezes in colder zones for the first few years ).


* photos taken on June 17 2011 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on Dec 6 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Jan 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 9 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 8 2017 in Columbia, MD




'Hetzii' ( Hetz Japanese Holly )
A hybrid between 'Convexa' and 'Rotundifolia' forms of Japanese Holly. It forms a vigorous, rounded, large shrub, reaching up to 10 x 14 feet.
The oval leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are glossy deep green.
It bears black berries during autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.
* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photo taken on Oct 3 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 9 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Highlander' ( Highlander Japanese Holly )
A rather loose, broad-pyramidal, tall shrub, reaching up to 10 x 7 feet, This cultivar originated in a block of 'Convexa' seedlings. It forms an excellent hedge or screen.
The obovate leaves, up to 0.7 inches in length, are deep green.
This cultiver is a male and does not get berries.
Hardy zones 5 to 8, it is exceptionally hardy thriving even in Wichita, Kansas.

'Hoogendorn'
A moderate growing, dense, upright, rounded small shrub, reaching a maximum size of 4 x 6 ( rarely over 3 x 4 ) feet. Some records include: 10 years - 2 x 5 feet.
The oval or elliptic leaves are up to 1 inch in length. The foliage is glossy deep green. It makes an excellent substitute for Boxwoods on harsh sites.
It is among the more cold hardy cultivars.

* photos taken on Aug 8 2014 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on Oct 3 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Howard's Compact'
Similar to 'Green Luster', it is fast growing, upright and spreading, reaching a maximum size of 6 x 6 feet.
The oblong to obovate leaves are glossy deep green.
A male clone, therefore not producing berries but can be used as a pollinator. Hardy zones 6a +.

'Jersey Pinnacle'
Dense, upright and pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 8 x 4 feet in 10 years, and a maximum eventual size of 20 x 13.5 feet.
The elliptical leaves, up to 0.7 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 6 a + ( tolerating -13 F ).

'Latifolia'
The largest from of Ilex crenata, it forms a vigorous, spreading to erect tree. The largest Japanese Hollies ever recorded in the wild in eastern Asia reach up to 60 x 26 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 12 x 12 feet.
The broadly-oval leaves, up to 1.5 x 0.6 inches in size, are glossy deep green.
Hardy from zone 6 to 8

* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Major'
like 'Latifolia' but with even larger leaves, up to 1.5 inches in length. The foliage is deep green.

'Mariesii'
A slow growing, stiff, upright shrub, reaching up to 5 x 2( 12 possible after a hundred years ) feet. Some records include: 10 years - 2.5 x 2 feet; 20 years - 4 x 2 feet.
The small, ovate to rounded leaves that crowd the ends of the stems are very glossy deep green.
it bears black berries.

'Mentor Glossy'
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( 4b on protected sites...it is not only the only Ilex crenata cultivar that survived at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada but has thrived on a sheltered site there having reached 3.3 feet in height. Little else is known about this cultivar including what it's mature size would be on an ideal site.

'Microphylla' ( Small Leaf Japanese Holly )
An upright pyramidal small tree ( rarely 30 feet ) with foliage even smaller than usual for a Japanese Holly. The leaves, up to 0.7 ( rarely over 0.4 ) inches in length, are deep green.

'Noble Upright'
Broadly-pyramidal when young, it eventually becomes upright, rounded, reaching up to 10 x 10 feet. The obovate to oval leaves, up to 1 inch in length, are deep green. Hardy zones 5b + ( tolerates -23 F with minimal winter injury ).

'Northern Beauty'
Fast growing, dense and rounded, it is closely related to 'Hetzii'. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 5 feet; largest on record - 8 x 8 feet.
The deep green leaves are larger than most cultivars.
Hardy zones 5 to 7.

* photo taken on Dec 23 2016 in Parkton, MD


var Paludosa
Dense, low growing and spreading, it can reach a maximum size of 5 x 14 ( rarely over 3 ) feet in size.
The glossy deep green, oval leaves are small, even for an Ilex crenata.
Hardy zone 6 to 8.

'Shiro Fukuri' ( Snowflake Jap Holly )
Fast growing, dense, upright, broad-pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 12 x 12 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 6 x 4 feet, fastest growth rate - 3 ( rarely over 1.5 ).
The gray-green leaves are edged in creamy-white.
It bears black fruits during autumn.

'Skypencil' ( Skypencil Japanese Holly )
A narrow, columnar form, that can reach a maximum size of 20 x 3.3 feet with great age, though easily kept under 6 feet with judicial pruning. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 2 feet; fastest growth rate - 2 feet.
The obovate to elliptical leaves, up to 1.2 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
During autumn, it produces deep purple berries, up to 0.25 inches across. Hardy zones 6 to 8.

* photo taken @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C. on Feb 2009

* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010


* photos taken on April 27 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 4 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 3 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Snowflake'
Moderate growing and pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 8 x 3 feet.
The very attractive foliage is gray-green and boldly margined creamy-white.

'Soft Touch'
Similar to 'Helleri but with softer foliage, it forms a low, spreaing, mounded shrub, reaching up to 3 x 4 ( rarely over 2 ) feet in 5 years, eventually 4 x 6 feet with great age.
The soft textured foliage is bright green.

* photo taken on June 28 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 5 2016 in Elkridge, MD

* photos taken on Mar 22 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Steeds' ( Steeds Japanese Holly )
A fast growing, dense, upright, pyramidal large shrub, reaching up to 16 x 9 feet, it makes a great hedge/screen. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; 6 years - 9 x 6 feet.
The small, oblong or elliptical leaves, up to 0.4 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
During autumn, it produces black berries that persist through the winter.




* photo taken on May 5 2010 in Laurel, MD

* photo taken on Jul 20 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 15 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 26 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 6 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 28 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Stokes'
Dense and mounded to flat-topped, reaching up to 5 x 5 feet, with glossy dark green foliage. Some records include: 12 years - 3 x 4 feet. It appears somewhat like 'Helleri' but is very hardy showing no damage at -18 F.
The elliptical leaves, up to 0.6 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
A female form, it produces black berries.

'Variegata'
A large cultivar reaching up to 13 x 8 feet with age. The oval leaves are green and blotched and spotted with golden yellow.
Can revert easily so all green branches should be removed.

Ilex cyrtura
A medium-sized, evergreen tree, reaching around 30 feet, that is native to Bhutan, Yunnan Province of China and northern Burma. Some records include" largest on record - 57 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. This tree grows very well in the far south of England and one has already reached 57 feet in height in Cornwall.
The pointed, minutely-toothed, elliptical or oblong leaves, up to 6.5 x 2.3 ( rarely over 4.5 x 1.5 ) inches, are deep green above, bright green beneath.
The flowers are borne in panicles and are followed by scarlet-red berries, up to 0.25 inches wide.
The bark is smooth and gray.
Hardy from zone 7 to 10.

Ilex decidua ( Possumhaw )
The Possumhaw is an upright deciduous tree, reaching up to 30 feet, that is native to central and southeastern U.S. ( southeast Nebraska to central Illinois to Maryland; south to central Texas to central Florida ). Some records include: fastest growth rate - 4 feet; 12 years - 16 feet; 20 years - 20 x 27 feet; largest on record is 50 x 55 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.1 foot.
The leaves appear late in the spring. They are scalloped, oval, up to 4 x 1.2 inches in size, and often crowded in short spurs. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The berries ( up to 0.5 inches wide ) are orange or red and often last all winter sometimes into early spring.
The thin, smooth bark is brown.
Hardy zones 3 to 9. The Possumhaw is both very heat as well as flood and wind tolerant and will grow well even in harsh climates such as Kansas. Grows well in sun or shade and prefers a soil PH from 3.5 to 6.5.

* photo of unknown origin


* photo taken on Aug 2012 in Towson, MD

* photo taken by Rex Hamilton @ USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora

* photo taken by Clarence A. Rechenthin @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* historic archive photo


'Byers Golden'
The berries, up to 0.25 inches wide, are yellow and up to 0.25 inches and often keep their color into February.
The foliage is dark green and turns to yellow during autumn.
Otherwise similar to regular species.

'Council Fire'
The berries remains orange even into March long after most Possumhaws fade.
The deep green foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
Hardy zone 5 to 9. Likely grows to same size as Ilex decidua. Bushy & upright.

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Pendula'
Strongly weeping in habit, reaching up to 20 x 20 feet, with scarlet-red berries that persist well into winter.
The foliage often persists very late, even into early winter.

'Red Cascade'
Bark is pale-gray to almost white, further showing off the long-persistent orange-red berries.
It is similar in habit to the species.

* photo of unknown origin


'Sentry' ( Sentry Possumhaw )
Vigorous and strongly upright, columnar or pyramidal in habit.
It abundantly bears very persistent, scarlet-red berries it a male pollinator is nearby.

'Warren Red'
Similar to Ilex decidua with very abundant scarlet berries.


* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Ilex dimorphophylla ( Okinawan Holly )
With a tiny native range in the wild restricted to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan; this is a rounded slow growing evergreen shrub reaching up to 17 x 4 feet at most. This Holly is very dense and looks alot like Osmanthus heterophyllus. On young plants the foliage is very spiny but as the plant matures the foliage becomes only single spined at the leaf tip.
The leaves are up to 1.5 inches in length. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The berries are red and tiny.
Hardy from zone 6 to 11.

'Fastigiata' similar to Dragon Lady Holly in appearance but only to 8 x 1.5 feet

Ilex dipyrena ( Himalayan Holly )
Closely related to Ilex aquifolium; this Holly is a moderate growing, erect, medium-sized, evergreen tree native from the eastern Himalayas to western China. Some record include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet, 20 years - 30 feet; largest on record - 60 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 5 feet.
On young plants the foliage is very spiny but as the plant matures the foliage becomes smooth edged. The leaves are up to 5 x 1.7 inches in size. The leathery foliage is deep green.
The very large berries are red.
The smooth bark is light gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 10.

Ilex 'Dr. Kassab'
Similar to Emilie Bruner below, reaching up to 30 + x 20 feet in size and is pyramidal in habit. Some records include: 12 years - 14 x 18 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches.
The leathery foliage is glossy deep green.
A female clone, it produces abundant scarlet-red berries during autumn, persisting into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photos taken on Oct 2 2016 in Bel Air, MD


Ilex editicostata
Also called Ilex litseifolia. A small, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum height of 50 ( rarely over 20 ) feet, that is native to southern China. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 20 inches.
The lance-shaped to oblong leaves, up to 7 x 3.4 ( rarely over 5 x 2 ) inches in size, The leathery foliage is glossy mid-green above, light green beneath.
The female plants bear red berries, up to 0.5 inches across, during late summer, persisting until late fall.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ilex 'Emerald Colonnade'
A moderate growing, upright, pyramidal to broadly-columnar, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 12 x 8 inches in size. It makes a great windbreak, screen or tall hedge and can tolerate shearing if needed.
The oval leaves do not have spines. The foliage is deep green.
It is a male clone and does not produce berries.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* photo taken on Oct 4 2016 in Annapolis, MD


Ilex 'Emilie Brunner'
Similar to Ilex 'Nellie Stevens' except with larger ( up to 6 inch ) leaves. The foliage is glossy deep green. It is a hybrid between Ilex latifolia and Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii' that forms a fast growing broad, dense pyramidal tree, reaching up to 30 x 15 feet at maturity. This Holly can make for a great tall privacy screen. Being a female Holly clone it does bear an adundance of scarlet berries but needs a male polinater ( 'James Swan' being a good one ). The berries are longer lasting than that of the Nellie Steven's Holly.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 with -3 F killing only leaves and not damaging stems. Prone to chlorosis yellowing if soil is deficient in nitrogen so fertilizing in spring and early summer is important.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photo of unknown origin


Ilex fargesii ( Farges Holly )
A dense, upright, rounded, small, evergreen tree, that is native to the Himalayan mountains from Tibet to western China ( Hubei, Sichuan & Yunnan ). Some records include: largest on record - 40 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The leathery, toothed, narrow-elliptical leaves are up to 6.5 x 1.5 ( rarely over 5 ) inches in size. The foliage is luxuriant deep green.
The small berries, up to 0.3 inches wide, are scarlet-red and the stems are purple or green.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9.

Ilex fragilis
A deciduous, large shrub to small tree, reaching a height of 17 feet, that is native to the Himalayas ( from northern India to western China; south to northern Burma ). Some records include: 10 years - 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 inches.
The deeply-veined, toothed, ovate or elliptical leaves are up to 5.5 x 2 ( rarely over 3.5 x 2 ) inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above, light green beneath.
The creamy-white flowers are followed by red berries, up to 0.25 inches wide. Hardy zones 8 to 9.

Ilex georgei
Very similar to Ilex pernyi 'Veitchii and it really is a close relative of I pernyi.
Largest on record - 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 11 inches.
This native of Yunnan, northern Burma and far northeast India forms an extremely dense, small, conical tree. The sharply-spined, lance-shaped leaves are up to 1.7 x 0.6 inches in size. The thick, leathery foliage is glossy deep green. It bears heavy crops of scarlet-red berries up to 0.2 inches wide.
It has excellent ornamental potential and should be tested more in cultivation in the U.S.

Ilex glabra ( Inkberry )
A moderate growing, erect evergreen shrub, typically reaching around 8 feet, that is native to eastern North America. Some records include: 10 years - 13 x 13 feet; largest on record - 20 x 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.2 inches. Usually a moderate grower; Sucker shoots can sometimes grow as much as 5 feet in a season. The Inkberry is very useful for hedging.
The oblong leaves are up to 3 inches in length. They are almost smooth edged but are slightly toothed near the tip of the leaf. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The black, rounded berries often remain through the winter.
The Hardy zones 3 to 9 ( protected sites in 3 only ). Unlike most evergreen Hollies; the Inkberries are very tolerant of wind, heat, salt and flooding and are very useful for landscaping on wet sites. They are rarely bothered by insects and disease. Do not be alarmed if the foliage does burn at extreme temperatures below -20 F; just wait until spring for new leaves. Old leggy plants can be cut back hard to near ground level during late winter, they usually resprout vigorously be early summer.

* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Wash., DC

* photos taken on May 30 2016 in Annapolis, MD

* photo taken on Sep 17 2016 in Annapolis, MD

* photo taken on Oct 15 2016 in Annapolis, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'Compacta'
Also called 'Nana'. Denser in habit, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 15 ( rarely over 6 x 6 ) feet. Some records include: 7 years - 5 feet.
The foliage is deep green.
It bears abundant black berries during the winter.

* use them for very wet areas where little else will grow

* photos taken on Nov 22 2013 - 1 season after hard cutting back for renovation


'Densa'
Reaches a maximum size of 10 x 8 feet; rounded in shape with upright branches.
The glossy deep green leathery leaves, are up to 1.5 x 0.5 inches in size.

* photo taken on Mar 20 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jan 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 24 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Gold Mine'
Bright green foliage that is boldly edged in golden-yellow.

'Ivory Queen'
Showy white berries; otherwise identical to species.

'Leucocarpa'
Showy white berries; otherise identical to species.
`
'Nigra'
Reaching up to 5 x 5 feet; it is the densest of all the forms and has better than average lower branch retention. Some records include: 5 years - 3 x 3.5 feet; 7 years - 4 feet; largest on record - 10 feet.
The thick leaves, up to 1.5 x 0.7 inches, are glossy deep green. The foliage on some turn a deep purplish-red in winter especially when grown in full sun.
Hardy from zone 4 to 9.

* photos taken on June 3 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Nordic' ( Chamzin Inkberry Holly )
Broad pyramidal growth habit. The attractive, very glossy deep green foliage is slightly larger than the species and holds its color through the winter. It can reach up to 5 x 16 feet after many decades.
Likely hardy from zone 4 to 9 ( 3 on protected sites ) and has easily tolerated -30 F.

'Nova Scotia'
Dense and compact in habit, reaching up to 4 x 4 feet.
The foliage is glossy deep green.
Originating in Nova Scotia, it is among the hardiest of clones, thriving north to zone 5 and even 4b on protected sites.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Red Tip'
Red tint on new leaves that later turn to glossy deep green; otherwise similar to species.

'Shamrock' ( Shamrock Inkberry Holly )
Reaches up to 3 x 5 feet in 5 years with an eventual maximum size of 6 x 9 ( rarely over 5 x 6 ) feet if left unpruned.
The oval leaves are up to 1.5 x 0.5 inches in size. The foliage is bright green during spring turning to glossy deep green during summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 9. Shear lightly every year to encourage dense growth.

* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010

* photo taken on Aug 18 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA


* photo taken on Apr 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on July 16 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 24 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 6 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 15 2016 in Annapolis, MD


Ilex integra ( Nepal Holly )
The Nepal Holly is related to Ilex aquifolium and is native to Korea, Japan and Taiwan. It generally forms a moderate growing, medium-sized, evergreen tree, up to 50 feet though it can grow much larger. Extremely old trees have the potential to reach 100 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 6.7 feet after a few centuries. Very long-lived, it can survive as long as 400 years. Some records include: 3 years - 7 feet.
The smooth-edged, elliptical leaves, are up to 6 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is reddish at first, turning to glossy deep green.
The pale-yellow flowers appear during mid-spring. They are followed by abundant red berries during autumn and winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.




Ilex kingiana
Also known as Ilex insignis; this Holly is a small to medium size evergreen tree native to Yunnan Province in China and the eastern Himalayas. The largest on record is 60 x 15 feet with a trunk diameter of 28 inches and one has already reached nearly that size in England. It is long-lived, persisting up to 100 years or possibly more.
On mature plants; the waxy leaves are glossy dark green, oval and smooth-edged to slightly toothed. They are large up to 10 x 3 inches in size. On young plants the foliage is very spiny.
The clustered flowers are yellow-green. They are followed by scarlet-red berries.
Hardy from zone 7 to 10.

Ilex x koehneana
A very attractive evergreen tree that is the hybrid of Ilex aquifolium & I. latifolia. It forms a fast growing, medium to large sized evergreen tree, easily reaching 40 feet or more, though 100 x 50 feet may be possible with extreme age. Some records include: 2 years - 5 feet; fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The leathery, large, oblong leaves, up to 7 x 3.5 inches in size, strongly resembles Ilex latifolia but is more spiny. The foliage is bronze-purple at first, turning to glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 and very heat & drought tolerant. This Holly thrives in the Mid Atlantic Region of the U.S. as well as most of the southeast. Koehneana Holly is best pruned to a single leader especially in regions with heavy snow.

* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Columbia

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Hohman'
Dark glossy foliage and very heavy crops of scarlet berries.

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Martha Berry'
Fast growing, reaching up to 8 x 6.5 feet in just 5 years, with luxuriant deep blue green foliage.

'Yule Bright'
Fast growing and fully hardy in zone 6. The leaves are very glossy and the berries are huge.


* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum





'Wirt L Winn'


Ilex krugiana ( Tawnyberry Holly )
A medium-sized, evergreen tree, that is native to tropical south Florida and the Caribbean. It is endangered in the wild. Some records include: growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 55 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.2 foot.
The smooth-margined, pointed-ovate leaves are up to 4 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is reddish at first, turning to glossy deep green.
The purplish berries are up to 0.3 inches wide.
On young trees the bark is smooth and whitish becoming scaly and brown on mature trees.
Hardy zones 10 + it is pest free as well as very salt and very drought tolerant making it a very useful tree for tropical landscapes.

Ilex kusanoi ( Poneanthe Holly )
Also called Ilex poneantha & Kusano Holly. A medium-sized, deciduous tree, reaching a maximum size of 23 x 13 feet, that is native to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2.5 feet. Extremely rare in the U.S. however it makes for an excellent landscape plant.
The leaves, up to 6 x 3 inches, are luxuriant mid-green all year.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, it thrives in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S.



Ilex kwangtungensis
An evergreen, small tree, reaching a maximum height of 47 ( rarely over 30 ) feet, that is native to southern China.
The leathery, oblong leaves are up to 6.5 x 3 ( rarely over 4.5 x 2 ) inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The flowers are pinkish-purple.
They are followed by red berries, up to 0.35 inches across, on female plants.
The smooth bark is gray-brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, it thrives in the hot humid summers of the southeast and Mid Atlantic U.S.

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ilex laevigata ( Smooth Winterberry )
Similar to Ilex verticillata; the Smooth Winterberry is native to the Eastern U.S. ( from central New York to Vermont to southern Maine; south to South Carolina with disjunct locals in southwestern P.A. and far southwest Virginia ). Most of its natural range is swamps within the coastal plain, it is endangered in Vermont. It forms a rounded, large, deciduous shrub, reaching around 12 feet. Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 20 feet.
The finely-toothed, elliptical leaves are up to 4 x 2 inches in size. The glossy mid-green foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
The tiny, creamy-white flowers are followed by scarlet-red berries, up to 0.4 inches wide, ripening during early autumn, persisting through winter.
The bark is smooth.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( clones from Vermont may be hardy to zone 3 and it has thrived at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada ).

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photos taken on June 17 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on on Aug 23 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 17 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 10 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo


Ilex latifolia ( Tarajo )
A very long-lived, moderate to fast growing, dense, narrow, evergreen, medium-sized tree, reaching around 25 feet, that is native to much of southeastern China and Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 4 feet; 66 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet.
The smooth-edged to coarsely-toothed, oblong leaves, up to 15 x 7 ( rarely over 10 ) inches in size, are very large for a Holly. The thick, leathery foliage looks more like that of a Southern Magnolia than a Holly. The foliage is glossy deep green above, pale yellowish-green beneath.
The tiny, greenish-yellow flowers appear during late spring.
They are followed by abundant, orange-red berries, up to 0.25 inches wide.
The smooth pale gray bark later becomes fissured and gray to dark brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 thriving in full sn to part shade on just about any deep, fertile, well drained soil. Considered hardy north to Baltimore. It is both heat and drought tolerant. Considered hardy north to Baltimore on the east coast.

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Wash. DC



* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos of unknown origin

* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
'Purple Power'
Deep purple new foliage that later turns to glossy deep green. Orange berries.

Ilex longipes ( Georgia Holly )

* historic archive photo


Ilex macrocarpa ( Bigfruit Holly )
It is a very beautiful, fast growing, upright, medium-sized, deciduous tree, reaching up to 30 feet, that is native to eastern China ( not including Manchuria ). One tree already grew to 45 feet in England. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 5 ( rarely over 2.5 ) feet; largest on record - 60 x 40 feet with trunk diameter of 4 feet. It is moderately long-lived, lasting over 100 years. Extremely rare in the U.S. however it makes for an excellent landscape tree.
The sawtooth-edged, oval to elliptical leaves are up to 7 x 2.5 ( rarely over 5 ) inches in size. The foliage is very glossy, very deep green. The foliage turns to golden-yellow during autumn.
The tiny white flowers are borne during late spring.
They are followed by cherry-like, black, rounded berries, up to 0.6 inches wide, that are very large for a Holly.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, thriving in the hot humid summers of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S.. It is tolerant of temporary flooding.
* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.




Ilex macropoda

A deciduous, small tree, reaching a maximum height of 57 ( rarely over 30 ) feet, that is native to eastern China ( not incl. Manchuria ), Korea and Japan.
The toothed, oval leaves are up to 3 x 1.8 inches in size. The foliage is glossy mid-green above, pale green beneath; turning to golden-yellow during autumn. The young leaves can be used to make tea.
The tiny white flowers appear during late spring.
They are followed by rounded, glossy red berries, up to 0.25 inches wide, during mid to late autumn.
The smooth bark is whitish-gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Ilex x 'Mary Nell'
A complex hybrid between Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii' x I. pernyi 'Red Delight' x I. latifolia. Erect and pyramidal in habit with beautiful, large, serrated, glossy deep green foliage. Similar in size to the Nellie Steven Holly but often needing pruning and shaping to keep it dense in habit.
In autumn a generous crop of scarlet berries adds to its appeal.
Hardy zones 6b to 9 and grows very well in the hot humid southeastern and Mid Atlantic U.S.

* photo of unknown origin


* photos taken on October 14 2010 in Crownsville, MD


* photos of unknown internet source



Ilex maximowicziana 'kanehirae'
A moderate growing, upright, pyramidal to rounded, evergreen shrub to small tree, reaching a maximum size of 11 feet, that is closely related to Ilex crenata, differing in its larger leaves. It is native to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2.5 feet.
The leathery, elliptical to obovate leaves are up to 2.4 x 1 inch in size. The foliage is glossy bright green.
It bears black berries up to 0.3 inches across.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


Ilex x meservae ( Blue Holly )
The Blue Holly is a hybrid between Ilex rugosa & Ilex aquifolium and grows from 8 feet to sometimes as much as 18 x 15 feet if left unsheared. It grows moderately to fast, sometimes as much as 4 feet per year.
The evergreen leaves resembling that of Ilex aquifolium but smaller, are up to 2.5 inches in length. The foliage is glossy deep bluish-green.
Female plants bear scarlet-red berries during autumn, persisting into winter if a pollinator is within 30 feet.
Hardy zones 4 to 9. Easy to grow they prefer sun to part shade on rich moist well drained soil. They enjoy warm to hot summers and cold winters. The Blue Holly doesn't always thrive in maritime climates. Insect and disease problems are very rare. They are propagated from cuttings or layering. It is best to removed self-layered stems ( can always find friends who may want these beautiful plants ) in order to make it easier to rake out leaf debris beneath during autumn.

Some Blue Holly cultivars include:

'Blue Angel'
Compact and slow growing, reaching up to 8 x 8 feet in 10 years, with an eventual maximum size of 15 x 15 feet though easily kept much smaller. The glossy deep blue-green leaves contrast well with the purple stems. The leaves are up to 2 x 1.5 inches in size.
A female plant; it has plentiful red berries

'Blue Boy'
A moderate growing, large evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 15 x 15 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The leathery foliage is glossy deep green. The leaves are not spiny.
Being a male clone, it does not produce berries.


* photo taken on Feb 2010 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on May 10 2012 in Columbia. MD

* photo taken on Oct 14 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 18 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Blue Girl'
The female berry bearing version of the Blue Boy Holly. Bushy and pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 10 feet in 10 years, and an eventual maximum size of 15 x 13 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches.
The foliage is deep green.
It abundantly bears scarlet-red berries during autumn, that persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 and even thrives in Kansas.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA

* photo taken on Oct 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 22 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 27 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 7 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 3 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Blue Maid'
This is the largest of the Blue Holly Hybrids, it forms a fast growing, dense, large shrub, reaching up to 15 x 12 feet in 10 years, with an eventual maximum height of 20 feet.
The leathery foliage is glossy deep blue-green.
This is a female form, that abundantly bears scarlet-red berries that persist through the winter.

* photo taken on July 2009 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA

* photo taken on May 10 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

'Blue Prince'
A vigorous, dense, pyramidal, large, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 18 x 15 feet. Some records include: 5 years - 6 x 4 feet; 10 years - 10 x 8 feet; fastest growth rate - 4 feet.
It has purplish green branches and wavy, softly-spiny, shiny, deep blue-green leaves.
Being a male clone, it does not produce berries.

* photos taken on Feb 18 2012 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on May 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

'Blue Princess'
The female version of 'Blue Prince' with prolific red berries

* photos taken on May 10 2012 in Columbia, MD


'Blue Stallion'
A very vigorous form, forming a fast growing, very large, upright shrub, reaching up to 16 x 14 feet in just 10 years. The eventual size may be as much as 17 x 26 feet with a trunk diameter of 6 inches on ideal sites.
The weakly-spined, deep green foliage is borne on purplish stems.
A male form, it does not produce berries.

* photo of unknown origin


'Castle Spire'
Also called 'Heckenstar'. Very vigorous, compact and pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 15 x 5 feet. Some records include: 3 years - 4.5 feet; 5 years - 10 x 3 feet.
The foliage is glossy deep blue-green.
This female clone produces abundant, scarlet-red berries that persist through the winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 ( hardy to at least -20 F ). Reportedly tolerant of wet sites.

'Castle Wall'
The nearly identical male form that is needed as a pollinator for 'Castle Spire'.

'Centennial Girl'
Very fast growing and pyramidal in habit, reaching to 12 x 7 feet in 10 years, eventually to 15 x 8 feet. It is a hybrid between Ilex aquifolium & I. centrochinensis.
The berries are very persistent, often lasting into spring.

* photo of unknown origin


'China Boy' ( China Boy Holly )
The pollinator for 'China Girl'. It is identical except for not having the berries.

'China Girl'
Hardy from zone 5 to 9 ( tolerating -20 F ); China Boy / Girl Hollies are more heat tolerant than the other Meservae Hybrids and can be grown in the Deep South where the others will likely die. The China Girl Holly is moderately-fast growing, rounded, large evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 10 feet, though easily pruned smaller. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet; 5 years - 6 x 4 feet. The China series are actually hybrids between Ilex rugosa x cornuta and have no I. aquifolium genes in them at all.
The glossy foliage is bright green at first, later turning to mid-green. It is somewhat less spiny than the other Blue Hybrids.
A female form, it bears masses of large, scarlet-red berries, up to 0.3 inches wide, during fall and winter.

* photo taken on Apr 4 2013 in Columbia, MD


'Golden Girl'
Reaches up to 12 feet; with deep green foliage and golden-yellow berries


* photo taken on Sep 24 2013 in Burtonsville, MD


'Golden Prince'
A vigorous, dense, pyramidal, large, evergreen shrub, reaching a maximum size of 18 x 15 feet. Some records include: 5 years - 6 x 4 feet; 10 years - 10 x 8 feet; fastest growth rate - 4 feet.
It has purplish-red twigs that contrast well with the wavy, softly-spiny, shiny, deep blue-green leaves that are boldly-margined, golden-yellow.
Being a male clone, it does not produce berries.

* photo courtesy of Milan Havlis leading nurseryman of Czech Republic


'Honey Maid'
A slow growing, rounded, small to medium-sized evergreen shrub, it may reach a maximum size of 10 x 10 feet after a few decades.
The foliage is splashed and edged in golden-yellow, later fading to creamy-yellow.
The is the most cold hardy variegated Holly.


* photo taken on October 15 2010 in Howard Co., MD


Ilex mitis ( Cape Holly )
An evergreen tree native to moister regions of southern & eastern Africa. A fast growing tree ( to 3 feet in a year ) this subtropical Holly can grow large to 100 x 33 feet with a stocky trunk to 3.5 feet in diameter.
The smooth-edged, oblong leaves are up to 5 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is reddish at first during spring.
The small white flowers are borne during spring.
They are followed by red berries.
Hardy from zone 8 to 11.

Ilex montana ( Mountain Winterberry )
This small tree Holly resembles Ilex decidua and is native to damp rich forests of the Appalation Mountains and Piedmont region of eastern North America ( from eastern Ohio to central New York to Massachussetts; south to northern Alabama to central South Carolina ). This small tree is great for screening. The largest tree on record is 50 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. A very large Mountain Winterberry is reported to have grown at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in NYC.
Its leaves are larger than Ilex decidua and are elliptical in shape with glandular marginal teeth. They are up to 7 x 2.5 inches in size. The foliage is deep green in summer turning to yellow during autumn.
The showy, scarlet-red berries, up to 0.5 inches wide, persist into winter. The berries ripen during late summer and are clustered along the twigs. Both male and female plants need to be in reasonably close proximity to get berry production.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 in full sun to partial shade on moist, acidic, fertile, well drained soil. It is moderately drought tolerant once established.

* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historic archive photos


Ilex mucronatus ( Catberry )
Also called Nemopanthus mucronata or Mountain Holly. A stoloniferous, deciduous shrub, reaching up to 10 x 10 feet, that is native to eastern North America ( from central Minnesota to Batchewana, Ontario to Kapuskasing, Ontario to Cochrane, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to northern Indiana to West Virginia to Maryland ). Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 17 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.2 inches. It is found in acid swamps, riverbanks and lakeshores in the wild. Some large plants are known to grow in Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada ( photos in external site link http://nswildflora.ca/species/Aquifoliaceae/NemoMucron/species.html ). The Catberry is closely related to Ilex amelanchier.
The entire to minutely-toothed, elliptical leaves are up to 3 x 1.3 inches in size. The thin, deep blue-green foliage colors attractively to yellow during autumn. The foliage is bright green with a bronze tinge upon emerging during spring.
The small, greenish-yellow to white flowers are borne during late spring with the fresh new foliage but are not showy.
The male and female flowers are borne on separate plants.
The fruits, up to 0.7 inches across, are intense deep red and ripen during late summer. This Holly is best used in mass plantings since at least one non-fruiting plant will be needed to pollinate the female plants to produce the decorative berries.
The stems are purplish when young.
Older stems have mottled, mid-gray bark.
Hardy zones 3 to 6 in full sun to partial shade on moist, cool ( preferrably mulched ), acidic, humus-rich, well drained soil. It is very tolerant of wet soil, it is often found on swampy sites in the wild. Catberry does not grow well in western Europe as it prefers a more continental climate with hot summers.
They can be propagated either from seed or cuttings. If grown from seed, they should be sown immediately upon ripening in a cold frame. They may take up to 1.5 years to germinate.

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database


Ilex myrtifolia ( Cassine Holly )
A moderate growing, small to medium size evergreen tree, averaging around 25 feet, that is native to coastal areas in the southeast U.S ( from Louisiana to North Carolina and south ). Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 60 x 40 feet with trunk diameters of 2.2 feet.
The round-tipped, oblong leaves are up to 2 x 0.5 inches in size. The foliage is glossy green.
The whitish flowers are followed by single scarlet berries.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, it is much hardier than its native range suggests.

'Sebring'
Larger foliage, to 2.5 x 1 inches, it is otherwise similar.

'Walker'
Very narrow leaves, up to 1 x 0.2 inches in size. The willow-like foliage is deep green.
It bears scarlet-red berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

'Woodlander's Hardy'
Weeping in habit, reaching up to 15 x 10 feet. Some records include: 15 years - 12.5 feet.
The foliage is bright green.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Ilex 'Nellie Stevens' ( Nellie Steven's Holly )
A fast growing evergreen female Holly reaching up to 35 feet or more. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; 10 years - 25 x 15 feet; 14 years - 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 inches; largest on record - 60 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet ( estimated ). The Nellie Stevens Holly is a hybrid between Ilex aquifolium & I. cornuta 'Burfordii'.
The oval leaves, up to 4 inches in length, have 2 or 3 spines on each side. The leathery foliage is glossy deep green.
This attractive Holly bears crops of abundant orange-red berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 and drought tolerant , thriving on just about any well drained soil. Very heat tolerant, it thrives in both the Mid Atlantic and the Deep South. Ilex cornuta is a suitable pollinator.

* photos taken in Columbia, MD on Feb 2010





* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


* photo taken on March 17 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on June 28 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 6 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 16 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


* 'Whoa Nellie' - the golden foliaged variant...photo taken on Aug 2012 in Towson, MD


Ilex opaca ( American Holly )
Usually medium growing or less often fast growing this evergreen Holly can grow to 47 x 20 feet in 20 years under ideal conditions and will often reach 60 feet when mature. The largest American Hollies ever recorded reach as much as 100 x 45 feet with the smooth silvery Beech-like trunks being up to 5 feet across. A number of stately large trees grow on the grounds of Longwood Gardens near Philly, PA. Long lived; the American Holly can reach up to 300 years in age.
This Holly is native to the eastern U.S. from eastern Oklahoma to central Indiana to southern New York; south to eastern Texas to central Florida.
The medium-spiny, oblong to elliptical leaves are up to 5 ( rarely over 4 ) inches in length. The leathery foliage is dull green above and yellowish green below. The native Indians made tea from the leaves to cure the cold and the flu.
Female trees also bear attractive red berries that follow the creamy white flowers.
The American Holly is best in well drained acid soil. It does not grow well in proximity of ocean salt breezes, unlike Ilex aquifolium. Hardy zones 6 to 9 though some forms are hardier to zone 5 and will thrive even in southern Michigan. It is both drought and salt tolerant however does not grow nearly as well as Ilex aquifolium along the seashore. NEVER cut down an American Holly that looses its foliage during an unusually severe winter as can sometimes happen in the Midwest - the stems are hardier than the foliage and often re leaf in late spring as if nothing happened. Insect pest and disease problems are very rare. Cultivars are propagated from cuttings which can be taken during summer, fall or winter.

* photo taken Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo taken in Bethesda, MD

* photos taken on May 5 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD



* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on June 1 2010 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA

* photos taken on Apr 8 2013 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on Sep 15 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

* photos taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD

* photos taken on Oct 31 2013 @ Hampton Ntl. Historic Site, Towson, MD

* photo taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 31 2016 in Catonsville, MD

* photos taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Aug 23 2016 in Laurel, MD

* photo taken on Aug 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Sep 22 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

* photo taken on Oct 27 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Mar 1 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* historical archive photo


'Christmas Spray'
Vigorous tall female with berries.

'Cobalt'
Very deep green foliage and an abundance of red berries is otherwise similar in appearance but is much more cold hardy.
Hardy north to zone 5 ( it has survived as low as -32 F in Michigan ).

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Nov 1 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Croonenburg'
Large, glossy dark green foliage that is less spiny than typical Ilex opaca.
The berries are bright red.

'Dan Fenton'
Fast growing, broadly-pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 20 x 15 feet in 10 years, eventually much more.
The large spiny foliage is glossy very deep green.
It bears abundant, scarlet-red berries during autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

* photo taken on Oct 3 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Greenleaf'
A strong grower however otherwise similar to Ilex opaca

* photos taken on Sep 27 2013 in Laurel, MD


'Jersey Knight'
Upright and dense male form with attractive deep green foliage.
While not producing berries itself, it is considered an excellent pollinator.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

'Jersey Princess'
Very attractive, glossy very dark green foliage.
This female clone bears abundant scarlet berries that last through the winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

'Lacquerberry'
Upright and fast growing, with very glossy, mid-green foliage and bright red berries that are the largest of any American Holly cultivar.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

'Lady Alice'
Vigorous with very large, glossy deep to almost black green leaves.
The berries are large and bright red.

'Ling Close'
Unusually vigorous, dense and narrowly pyramidal in habit.
The unusually large, glossy, rich green foliage is not bothered by leaf spot fungus.
The very abundant berries are very bright orange-red.
Easily propagated and hardy to as low as -35 F!!! 'Longwood Gold'
Golden-yellow berries; otherwise identical to species.

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Maryland Dwarf'
Dwarf and low growing, only reaching up to 5 x 6 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 7 x 18 feet with great age. It is a great unique, low maintenance groundcover to provide greenery 12 months of the year as well as winter habitat for our feathery friends. The weakly-spined foliage is glossy mid-green.
It bears scarlet-red berries during autumn, persisting through winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Old Faithful'
Glossy deep green foliage and larger berries that persist well into winter; otherwise identical to species.

'Princeton Gold'
Vigorous pyramidal tree, with foliage that is deep green all year.
It abundantly bears bright yellow berries that persist all winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9





'Satyr Hill'
Very fast growing ( up to 4 foot growth rates recorded ), with luxuriant large foliage and abundant, larger deep red berries that persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 8

* photos taken on Oct 26 2012 in Harford Co., MD


* photo taken on June 20 2014 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC

* photos taken on Oct 17 2014 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Mansion, Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on Nov 12 2016 in Howard Co., MD


'Silica King'
a tall male form that blooms abundantly making it a great pollinator. The spiny foliage is glossy, deep olive green.


Ilex paraguariensis ( Yerba Mate )
A moderate growing, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 66 x 30 feet, that is native to southeastern South America. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
The toothed, oblong leaves are up to 10 x 6 inches in size. The foliage is dull mid-green above, pale green beneath.
The small white flowers are followed by red berries.
The bark is smooth and pale gray.
Hardy zones 8b to 11 ( tolerating as low as 17 F ). It is not drought or salt tolerant and prefers a yearly rainfall of over 50 inches. The leaves of this tree are used to make the caffeine rich tea like beverage called Mate.

Ilex pedunculosa
A very attractive, moderate growing, evergreen, small tree, that is native to eastern China ( excl. Manchuria ), Korea, Japan, northern Vietnam and Taiwan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 21 inches; 10 years - 15 x 10 feet; largest on record - 40 x 22 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.6 feet.
The smooth-edged, spineless, obovate or elliptical leaves are up to 4 x 1.5 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above, bright green beneath; often turning coppery during the winter in cold climates. The foliage looks more like that of Kalmia than that of a Holly.
The tiny white flowers are borne during late spring.
They are followed by red berries, up to 0.25 inches wide, during late summer and persisting into early winter. The berries are loved by the birds.
The smooth bark is gray.
Hardy zones 5 to 7, known to tolerate as low as -23 F with no damage. It is tolerant of clay, urban conditions, wind, heat and cold. This is the best Holly for the midwest but also thrives well in southern Ontario, the Mid Atlantic and the northeast. It does not grow well in the Deep South south of Virginia.

'Continental'
Larger leaves to 5 inches in length.

'Vleck'
Exceptionally cold hardy.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Ilex perado ( Canary Island Holly )
Endangered in the wild; this Holly is native to the Azores and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic. It is an upright evergreen tree reaching up to 50 x 22 feet with a trunk diameter of 15 inches. Some records include: 20 years - 20 feet ( avg. ); largest on record - 70 feet.
The leathery, oblong leaves are up to 8 x 4 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green.
They are generally spine edged but sometimes are spineless.
The very large berries are red.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


subsp. 'platyphylla'
The broader, spine-toothed leaves, up to 8 x 4.5 inches in size, are glossy deep green.

'Nigrescens'
The foliage is purple at first before turning green.

Ilex pernyi ( Pernyi Holly )
The Pernyi Holly is a native to Gansu and Hubei Provinces in China. It is an evergreen tree growing to 20 feet in 15 years on average, or very rarely to 40 feet in 20 years. Very old plants in China have been known to grow 70 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The very spiny ( 5 spines per leaf ), triangular leaves are up to 2 x 1 inch in size. The foliage is glossy deep green.
The small yellow flowers are borne during late spring.
They are followed by red berries during autumn and winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 9, it thrives in both the eastern & southeastern U.S. as well as the cool maritime Pacific Northwest. It is very wet, shade and cold tolerant and likes moist soil. It is not very tolerant of drought.


* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo of unknown internet source


'Veitchii'
Also called Ilex bioritsensis. It is tightly conical when young, more irregular and oblong with age. Dense in habit, it makes an excellent narrow tall barrier hedge requiring minimal to no pruning.
It has larger leaves up to 2.5 x 1.5 inches. The leathery, sharply-spined foliage is glossy deep green.
The very ornamental berries are bright scarlet-red.

Ilex purpurea ( Kashi Holly )
Also called Ilex chinensis. An upright, small to medium-sized,evergreen tree, reaching up to 45 feet, that is native to China and Japan. Some records include: 25 years - 32 feet with a trunk diameter of 9 inches; largest on record being 60 x 33 ( rarely over 45 ) feet with a trunk diameter of 2.8 feet.
The tapered-oblong leaves, up to 5 inches in length, are edged in small, rounded teeth. The foliage is bright pink at first, turning to deep green.
The oval berries, up to 0.5 inches in length, are scarlet-red.
Hardy zones 7 to 9; ( tolerating to - 3 F ), it thrives in milder parts of the Mid-Atlantic region but does need some wind protection and can defoliate in harsh winters.

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


Ilex x Red Hybrids
These are seedlings of Ilex 'Mary Nell'. They typically form dense, pyramidal evergreen, large shrub to small trees with reddish new growth.
Hardy zones 7 to 9; they prefer full sun to part shade ( not as full ) with well drained soil and average soil moisture.

* photo taken on October 14 2010 in Crownsville, MD



'Brilliant'
The hybrid of Ilex ciliospinosa & I. pernyi, forms a pyramidal, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 15 feet. It makes a great screen.
The sparsely-toothed ( 3 to 5 pairs ), ovate leaves are up to 3 inches in length. The foliage is glossy deep green.
It bears abundant, large, scarlet-red berries that persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9. Drought tolerant.

'Cardinal'
Fast growing, dense, upright, pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 14 x 8 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 20 x 15 feet.
The coarsely-spined, oval leaves are reddish-purple at first, turning to glossy deep green.
It bears abundant, scarlet-red berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9, it is moderately drought tolerant.



'Festive'
A vigorous, dense, upright, broad-pyramidal tree, reaching up to 20 x 12 feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet; 10 years - 10 x 8 feet. It makes a great screen.
The spiny foliage is bright green at first, later turning to very glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( 6 on protected sites )

* photos taken on May 5 2010 in Columbia, MD




'Liberty'
Moderate growing and densely pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 20 x 8 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 10 feet. It makes a stunning screen when used for its foliage effect.
The sharply-toothed, elliptical leaves are the largest of any Red Holly Hybrid. The thick leathery foliage is glossy very deep green.
It bears red berries during autumn however they are not abundant.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

'Little Red'
Moderate growing but dense, compact and pyramidal in habit, reaching a maximum size of 10 x 8 feet.
The spiny foliage is deep red at first, turning to glossy mid-green.
The abundant scarlet-red berries persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photos taken on June 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 10 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Oakleaf'
Fast growing when young, reaching up to 9.5 x 6 feet in just 5 years, it can eventually reach up to 30 x 15 feet.
The bronze new foliage eventually turns emerald-green. The leaves are somewhat shaped like that of Swamp White Oak.
It bears abundant red berries during autumn.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( tolerating -5 F ). Dense pyramidal shape.


* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Sep 24 2013 in Burtonsville, MD

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Red Beauty'
A hybrid between Ilex x meservae & I pernyi. It is moderate growing, dense, compact and pyramidal in habit, reaching a maximum height of 20 x 10 feet.
The spiny foliage is glossy deep green.
The abundant, glossy red fruits persist into winter.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

'Robin'
Fast growing and broad-pyramidal in habit, eventually reaching up to 26 x 15 feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 4 feet.
The spiny foliage is maroon-red at first, later turning to deep green.
The deep red berries persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photos taken on March 9 2010 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Mansion, Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on Apr 10 2017 In Columbia, MD


Ilex rotunda ( Kurogane Holly )
A rounded, medium-sized to large, evergreen tree, averaging 30 feet, that is native to eastern China ( not incl. Manchuria ), Korea, Japan, the Ryukyu Islands, & Taiwan. Some records include: 6 years - 12 feet ( est average ); largest on record - 80 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.7 feet. The Kurogane Holly can live up to 700 years.
The smooth-edged, broadly-elliptical or oblong leaves are up to 5 x 1.6 ( rarely over 3 ) inches in size. The very attractive, thin foliage is glossy very deep green above, bright green beneath.
The tiny, white to pale pink flowers, up to 0.2 inches wide, are borne during mid to late spring.
They are followed by very persistent, scarlet-red berries, up to 0.25 inches across, during autumn, lasting well into winter.
The smooth bark is grayish-white. The leafstalks and stems are deep red.
Hardy from zone 7 to 9 and is very heat tolerant. This species should be hardy in many areas of Britain, especially if provenances from the northern end of its range are obtained. Resents root disturbance and should be planted while small.

* photo taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


Ilex 'Scepter' ( Scepter Holly )
The hybrid of Ilex integra and I. x altaclerensis 'Hodginsii' developed at U.S. National Arboretum. It forms a fast growing, pyramidal tree, reaching at least 20 x 15 feet at maturity.
The leathery, smooth-edged, elliptical leaves are glossy deep green.
It produces abundant scarlet-red berries that persist well into winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.




Ilex serrata ( Japanese Winterberry )
A large, bushy, dense deciduous shrub native to southeast China and Japan that can easily reach up to 10 feet in height. Some records include: largest on record - 20 x 31 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The finely-toothed, oval or elliptical leaves are up to 3.5 x 1.6 inches in size. The new foliage in spring is often plum purple in color. The leaves later turn to deep green above, downy on both sides.
The tiny pink flowers are followed by an abundance of showy red berries, up to 0.5 inches wide, lasting from late August into December.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 ( possibly 4b as it has thrived at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada ). It is tolerant of flooding ( native to swampy areas in its native Asia ). This plant is basically the Asian cousin of our native Ilex verticillata.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* historic archive photo


'Leucocarpa' ( White Japanese Winterberry )
Similar except with bright green foliage and creamy white berries that keep their color well into winter. Truly spectacular in front of a darker background such as darker conifers.

Ilex sikkimensis
A medium-sized, evergreen tree, that is native to the Himalayas from northern India to western China.
Some records include: largest on record is 60 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The oblanceolate or elliptical leaves are up to 8 x 3 inches in size. The foliage is mid-green.
The red berries, are up to 0.2 inches across.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.

Ilex 'Sparkleberry' ( Sparkleberry Holly )
The Sparkleberry Holly is a decidious Holly that is a hybrid between the North American Ilex verticillata & the Japanese Ilex serrata. Fast growing and upright, it reaches a maximum size of 17 x 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 inches.
The oval leaves are up to 4 inches in length. The deep green foliage often falls off during autumn without coloring.
In fall this female hybrid Holly is covered in glowing scarlet-red berries that last through the winter often into March.
Hardy zones 3 to 8



* photo taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Sep 23 2013 in Burtonsville, MD

* photo taken on Nov 10 2014 in Columbia, MD


Ilex suaveolens
A small, evergreen tree, reaching up to 50 ( rarely over 40 ) feet, that is native to southern China.
The finely-toothed, oval to elliptic leaves are up to 4 x 1.6 ( rarely over 3 x 1 ) inches in size. The leathery foliage is glossy mid-green.
The female plants produce red berries up to 0.35 x 0.25 inches in size. Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( est ).

Ilex tolucana
Native to Mexico and endangered in the wild. The evergreen Holly can reach 50 feet with leaves up to 3 x 1.5 inches.

Ilex 'Venus'
Another hybrid Holly that is similar to Ilex 'Emilie Brunner'. Fast growing up to 9 feet in 3 years; 25 x 15 feet in 10 years.
The leaves are broadly-ovate with short-tooth margins. The foliage is glossy mid-green.

Ilex verticillata ( Winterberry )
A fast growing, deciduous suckering shrub, reaching around 10 feet, that is native to eastern North America ( from International Falls, Minnesota to Batchewana, Ontario to Gogama, Ontario to Haileybury, Ontario to southeastern Quebec to Newfoundland; south to Missouri to Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle ). It is also native further north locally around Chapleau, Ontario. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it occurred sporadically in Lasalle, around Leamington, Point Pelee as well as the Lake Erie islands during the 1800s. It was also abundant at Detroit during that time. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 6 feet; 20 years - 20 x 17 feet; largest on record - 40 x 33 feet with stem diameters up to 7 inches. The Winterberry can reach up to 18 inches in height from seed during the first year. It is found in swamps and lakeshores in the wild.
The toothed, obovate leaves are up to 6 x 4 ( rarely over 5 x 1.5 ) inches in size. The foliage is bright green above with some down felting beneath. The foliage is often purplish-green at first and turns to yellow before dropping late in the fall. The leaves do not contain caffeine but do make a good tea.
The tiny, white flowers appear during late spring.
They are followed by long lasting red berries, up to 0.5 inches in size, during late summer into winter.
This is a variable plant and careful selection is important to get that truly spectacular unforgettable winter display of berries that this plant is known for. Berry production is usually much better on plants in mass plantings as a male pollinator is needed.
Hardy zones 3 to 8. Very tolerant of swampy sites and grows well in both light and heavy soils; prefers moist, fertile, acidic (pH 4.5 to 6.5), soils with lots of humus; will develop chlorosis in high pH soils. It is often found wild in areas where its roots are submerged for months at a time over the winter season. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant. This species of Holly improves the soil it grows on due to its roots that have bacteria in the root nodules that fix nitrogen. Winterberry often produces too many stems which become congested and compete with each other...thinning clumps to 5 to 8 stems will produce more vigorous growth. Insect pest and disease problems are very rare. The cultivars can be reproduced by cuttings taken during early summer.




* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken on Oct 19 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Afterglow'
Reaches up to 10 x 10 feet with glossy deep green foliage.
It flowers earlier than most clones.
A female clone, it bears abundant large orange-red berries, up to 0.3 inches wide.
Hardy zones 4 +.

'Apollo'
A very fast growing male clone to 15 x 15 feet. Some records include: 5 years - 7 x 6 feet. This Ilex serrata x verticillata hybrid is used as the pollinator to 'Bonfire'.
The foliage is purplish-red at first.
Hardy north to zone 3.

'Aurantiaca'
Reaches a maximum size of 15 x 15 feet.
The abundant, bright orange berries do not last as long as some of the other cultivers.
The deep green foliage turns to yellow and purple during autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 9.

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Autumn Glow'
Actually a hybrid between Ilex verticillata & serrata and grows with hybrid vigor to 10 x 12 feet in 20 years and eventually 12 x 20 feet with a rounded habit.
The deep green foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
It bears abundant, scarlet-red berries, up to 0.25 inches in size, during autumn, lasting until Christmas.
Hardy zone 5 to 8.

'Berry Heavy'
Reaches up to 15 x 15 feet.
The deep green foliage is mildew resistant.
During autumn, this shrub is cropped with a very heavy crop of long-lasting, large, scarlet-red berries.
Hardy from zone 3 to 9. 'Jim Dandy' is an excellent male pollinator for this cultiver.

'Berry Nice'
Almost identical to 'Berry Heavy' but only growing to 8 x 6.5 feet.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Bonfire'
Actually a hybrid between Ilex verticillata & serrata. It grows with hybrid vigor, reaching a maximum size of 12 x 23.3 feet with a rounded habit.
The deep green foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
It bears abundant scarlet-red berries, up to 0.25 inches in size, during autumn. 'Apollo' is the recommended pollinator.

'Cacapon'
Compact, upright and rounded, reaching up to 10 x 14 ( rarely over 6 ) feet in size.
The crinkled, glossy deep green foliage, turns to yellow and purple during autumn.
The abundant, scarlet-red berries are very long-lasting.
Hardy zones 3 to 9 and is very tolerant of summers in the Deep South.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Carolina Cardinal'
Reaches up to 14 feet in height.
The foliage is purplish at first, turning to mid-green.
Scarlet berries are abundant

'Harvest Red'
Vigorous and spreading, reaching up to 10 x 16 feet in less than 20 years.
The glossy deep green foliage turns to red and purple during autumn.
The deep red berries, up to 0.25 inches in size, cover the plant during fall and early winter.
Hardy from zone 3 to 9. Actually a hybrid between Ilex verticillata & I. serrata.

'Jim Dandy'
Compact, reaching up to 6 x 6 feet in 6 years, with an eventual maxium size of 10 x 10 feet.
This male form has deep green foliage and no berries. A single plant can pollinate up to 6 'Red Sprite' and 'Cacapon'. The long blooming season makes it a good pollinator.

'Maryland Beauty'
Fast growing, but dome-shaped and compact in habit, reaching up to 7.5 x 9 feet. Some records include: 10 years - 7 x 5 feet. It tends not to sucker.
The attractive foliage is glossy deep green, turning to yellow or bronze during autumn.
The abundant, deep red berries persist into mid-winter.
Hardy zones 4 +.

* photo taken on Sep 23 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC


'Red Sprite'
A dwarf female, reaching up to 4 x 5 feet in 10 years ( eventually to 5 x 5 feet though 8 x 8 has been recorded ). It needs an early flowering male pollinator ( 'Jim Dandy' or 'Apollo' to get its trademark heavy crop of persistent, large, 0.5 inch, scarlet-red berries.
The luxuriant glossy deep green foliage turns yellow and purple during autumn.

* photos taken on October 15 2010 in Clarksville, MD





* photos taken on Apr 14 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 1 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 14 2013 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Mar 2016 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Mar 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jun 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on May 17 2017 in Annapolis, MD

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Southern Gentleman'
Vigorous and upright to rounded, reaching up to 15 x 15 feet in 10 years, eventually slightly larger.
The glossy deep green foliage turns to yellow or purplish-bronze during autumn.
This is a male clone so it does not produce berries, however is a great pollinator for 'Winter Red' and 'Winter Gold' in which case it can be planted with a ratio of 1 male for up to 5 females.
Hardy to -35 F.

* photo taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD

* photos taken on June 3 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Stoplight'
Dense and upright to rounded in habit, reaching up to 10 x 8 feet.
The foliage is bronze at first, turning to deep green.
The abundant, large berries are intense bright scarlet-red, up to 0.5 inches wide. 'Jim Dandy' is an ideal pollinater.
Hardy zones 4 to 7, this northerly clone is great for cold climates.

'Sunset'
Similar to 'Winter Red' but only reaching to 9 x 9 feet with even longer lasting berries.

'Winter Gold'
identical to 'Winter Red' below except with gold berries. Looks best with a background of dark conifers in the winter to offset its bright colored berries.

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Winter Red'
Reaches up to 8 x 8 feet in 10 years and eventually to 15 x 18 feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet.
Bears crops of bright red, 0.4 inch wide fruits of great abundance, maintaining they're intense color well into February.
The luxuriant deep green foliage turns to yellow or purple during autumn.
Hardy zones 3 to 9


* photo taken on Oct 6 2012 in Howard Co, MD

* photos taken on Dec 5 2012 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Sep 24 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

* photo taken on Dec 13 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014
* photos taken on Oct 3 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Mar 2016 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken on Oct 27 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Ilex vomitoria ( Yaupon Holly )
A rounded, evergreen, small tree that is native to the southeatern U.S. ( Missouri to Virginia; south to Texas to Florida ) that can be incredible useful in the landscape. It is fast growing ( record growth rate is 5 feet ) and can reach up to 27 x 20 feet in 20 years. The largest on record is 60 x 48 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.7 feet. With average growing conditions the Yaupon generally does not exceed 30 feet. It can be clipped and makes a great formal hedge though personally I prefer it's natural habit. It makes a great patio tree or screen.
The scallop-edged, elliptical leaves are up to 2 x 1 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green. The aromatic leaves can be used to make tea and do contain caffeine. The tea quickly causes heavy sweating and was frequently used by the natives. The leaves can be dried in an oven at 200 F then steeped in boiling water.
The tiny, white flowers are followed by abundant, scarlet-red berries that persist through the winter. Both male and female plants need to be in reasonably close proximity for berry production.
The scaly bark is mottled white & gray and very attractive.
Grows well in sun or part shade and is hardy from zones 6 to 10 ( tolerating as low as -10 F ) on acidic or neutral soil. The Yaupon is very tolerant of salt spray, extreme heat, flooding, drought, shade and alkaline soil. The Yaupon makes an excellent plant for bonsai. Insect pests and disease problems are rare though spider mites may sometimes occur. It is generally resistant to the root rot that may affect Japanese Hollies in very hot humid regions. Propagation may be from seed but is faster from semi-ripe cuttings.

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* photo of unknown internet source


* photo taken by W.D. Brush @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* historic archive photo


'Bordeau'
similar to 'Nana' but with deep red new foliage during spring. The foliage also turns to deep red during winter.
Reaches up to 5 x 7 feet in 10 years, 13 feet in 18 years and eventually slightly more.

'Carolina Ruby'
A compact, rounded shrub, reaching up to 5 x 5 feet. Some records include: size in 10 years - 4 feet; growth rate - 6 inches ( average ).
The elliptical leaves, up to 1 x 0.3 inches in size, are glossy deep green.
A female form with very abundant, glossy scarlet-red berries are very persistent, often lasting into the middle of the following spring.

'Dodd's Cranberry'
Upright but only moderate growing and more dense and shrubby; reaching up to 9 feet in 8 years, 16 x 12 feet in 20 years, eventually slightly more.
The foliage is deeper green than the species.
It bears abundant red berries.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Gold Top'
Foliage is bright golden-yellow at first, turning to glossy mid-green.
Faat growing, reaching up to 10 x 10 feet.

'Katherine'
Smothered by golden-yellow persistant abundant berries that last through the winter even if severe. The dark green foliage offsets the berries well. Vigorous and growing to the same size as regular Yaupon.

'Nana'
A moderate growing, dense, rounded, compact shrub; reaching up to 10 x 12 feet in size after many decades if left unsheared. Some records include: 10 years - 5 x 6 ( rarely over 4 ) feet.
The foliage is bright green at first, turning to deep green.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Pendula' ( Weeping Yaupon )
A strongly weeping tree reaching up to 50 feet in size. The Weeping Yaupon is often more vigorous than the regular Yaupon with a growth rate up to 3 feet in a year. It often looks gangly when very young being about the same age is usually shows up in garden centers. Just like the Atlas Cedar; once established this tree quickly fills in and matures to be a very beautiful tree.
The clear red fruit is an extra added attraction.

* photo of unknown origin

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Shadow'
Hardier north into zone 6; this cultivar has dark green foliage that is larger and more rounded. Moderate growing.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Stokes Dwarf'
Similar to 'Nana' but reaching a maximum size of 10.5 x 20 ( rarely over 4 ) feet with great age.
It is compact and dense in habit.

* photo taken on Jan 3 2011 @ Deerfield Beach Arboretum, Florida


'Tricolor'
A rounded to mounded, compact, medium-sized shrub, reaching up to 6 feet.
The mid-green foliage is boldly-margined creamy-white.

'Will Fleming'
Upright and columnar to 21 ( rarely over 10 ) feet in height and 3 ( rarely over 1.5 ) feet in width. It can reach up to 13 feet in just 10 years, after which it can spread out, with some extremely old plants as much as 12 feet in width.
Hardy north to zone 7. Shaped like the Skypencil Japanese Holly this shrub is typically a poor choice in climates with heavy snowfalls since its branching habit makes it turn into a "flattened disaster" due to the weight of the snow and ice pulling the upright branches apart.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC


'Yawkeyi'
Abundant golden-yellow berries; otherwise identical to species.



Ilex x wandoensis
A very beautiful evergreen Holly; it is a hybrid between Ilex integra and Ilex cornuta. It grows well in hot humid summers making it an excellent tree form Holly for the Mid Atlantic and Deep South. It is fast growing, reaching up to 13 feet in 5 years and eventually as much as 50 x 15 feet. The oval leaves are up to 5 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is luxuriant deep green above, pale green beneath.
This very attractive Holly tends to produce excellent crops of scarlet red berries.
Hardy zones 7 to 9.


* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


Ilex wilsonii
A large tree, reaching up to 33 feet or more, that is native to west central & eastern China.
The smooth-edged, blunt-tipped, ovate leaves are up to 3 x 1.5 inches in size. The leathery foliage is glossy deep green above, light green beneath.
The red berries are up to 0.15 inches side.
The bark is smooth and gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.
* link found on Flora of China siteite including photos
http://frps.eflora.cn/frps/Ilex%20wilsonii

Ilex yunnanensis ( Yunnan Holly )
An evergreen conical or rounded shrub or small tree Holly that is native to northern Burma as well as the Hubei & Sichuan Provinces of China. It can reach up to 23 x 23 feet in 20 years and the largest on record is 40 feet in height.
The branchlets are downy.
The leathery, toothed or scalloped, oblong to elliptical leaves are only up to 1.6 x 1 inch in size. The foliage is deep green.
The flowers are white ( red in some varieties ) and are followed by scarlet berries, up to 0.25 inches across.
Hardy from zone 5 to 8

8 comments:

  1. I appreciate your growing list and descriptions of hollies. I wish more nurseries carried some of the rarer ones. These are great plants for the Mid-Atlantic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Meant to add that our Weeping Yaupon here in zone 7a has taken a hit each winter, with major die-back. It's in an exposed location though. Perhaps some of the other Yaupons are hardier?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'd like to see you create descriptions of these three nice hollies:

    Ilex x 'Winter Bounty' - ( latifolia/ciliospinosa hybrid)

    Ilex x 'Spartan' (Ilex rugosa, I. integra, and I. pernyi)

    Ilex x 'Virginia'

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have not seen Winter Bounty, Spartan & Virginia Hollies yet but am definately on the lookout. Latifolia x ciliospinosa definately seems like it would make an interesing hybrid.

    ReplyDelete
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