Ilex

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Ilex

Ilex – Holly –

There are about 400 species of evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers in this genus.  They occur in woodland in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, with the majority species occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.  They are grown for their foliage and berries.  The leaves may have smooth edges, spine toothed, or rarely scalloped edges, and are usually simple and alternate sometimes in opposite pairs.  Flowers, borne from spring to early summer, are held singly or in clusters or cymes.  They are small, cup shaped, up to 3/8″ across, each with 3-8 petals, usually white or cream, but may be pink, green, or lavender-blue.  Male and female flowers are usually borne on separate plants, both sexes are needed to obtain fruits.  In temperate climates, Hollies bear fruits in autumn.  The red or black, occasionally white, orange, or yellow berries are spherical, sometimes ellipsoid, and may cause mild stomach upset if ingested.  The wood of some species is used for veneers and musical instruments.

Grow hollies in a woodland garden, or as specimen trees, some make good hedges or windbreaks.  I. aquifolium and I. x meserveae cultivars, several I. crenata cultivars are useful in a rock garden.

Grow these fully to marginal hardy plants in moist but well drained, moderately fertile, humus rich soil in full sun (which produces the leaf color in variegated hollies) or in partial shade.  Plant or transplanting is best done in early spring.  North American species prefer neutral to acid soil while European and Asian species are less fussy.

Prone to aphids, scale insects, leaf miners, and Phytopthora root rot.

 

I. ‘Accent’ - This narrowly conical, evergreen male tree grows 20′ feet tall and half as wide.  From brittle branches it carries elliptic, dark green leaves, to 1 ½” long. It may be short lived.

Zones 6-9

 

I, x altaclerensis – I. altaclaarensis - This vigorous, evergreen tree or shrub is a cross between I. aquifolium and I. perado and grows 50-70′ feet tall and 40-50′ feet wide.  It is of variable habit and has gray bark.  It produces leaves that are elliptic, elliptic-lance shaped, or broadly ovate, glossy, dark green, 2 ½-5″ long, with spine-toothed or smooth edges.  It bears red berries to 3/8″ across.  Tolerates pollution and coastal exposure.  Excellent for tall hedges and windbreaks.

‘Atkinsonii’ - has purple-green stems, green spiny leaves and is male.

‘Belgica Aurea’ – Silver Sentinel’ – I. perado ‘Aurea’ – Grows 40′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide and is female shrub with yellow streaked green stems, carrying elliptic-lance-shaped, sparsely spine toothed leaves, to 4 ½” long, mottled gray-green in the center and with irregular, golden yellow edges.  Produces few berries.

Camellifolia’ – grows 45-50′ feet tall and is a female, conical shrub with purple-tinged shoots that carry elliptic-oblong, usually smooth edged or with few spines, deep green leaves to 5″ long, and red berries

 

‘Golden King’ - is compact female shrub growing to 20′ feet tall and is a sport of “hendersonii’, with oblong to ovate, spine toothed or smooth edged leaves, to 4″ long, mottled gray-green in the center, with broad, yellow edges.  Reddish brown berries, ripen to red, are sparsely produced

‘Hendersonii’ - is a vigorous, compact female tree growing to 50′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide with oblong-elliptic, dull green leaves, to 4 ½” long.  Long lasting brown-red berries, ripen to red, are sparsely produced.

Hodinsii’ - is a magnificent, robust male tree growing 40-50′ feet tall and 30′ feet wide.  From dark purple stems it carries broadly ovate, glossy, deep green leaves, 2-3″ long, spine toothed when young.

‘Lawsoniana’ - this compact, female shrub grows 20′ feet tall and is a sport of “Hendersonii’.  It produces yellow streaked green stems that carry oblong to ovate, sparsely toothed, leaves, to 4 ½” long, irregularly splashed gold and light green in the centers.  Bears reddish brown berries, ripen to red

‘Platyphylla’ – has broad, glossy dark green spine toothed leaves

‘Purple Shaft’ - is columnar in habit, vigorous and fruits profusely

Wilsonii’ - is a vigorous, dense, oblong female tree growing 20-25′ feet tall and half as wide.  From purple-green shoots it carries dark green, spiny leaves, to 4″ long, with prominent veins.  It bears large scarlet fruit in quite abundance.  Good for hedging and able to with stand pollution and harsh coastal conditions.

Zones 7-9

 

I. aquifolium – English Holly – Common Holly – This usually erect, dense, pyramidal evergreen shrub or tree from Western and Southern Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia grows 40-80′ feet tall and 15-25′ feet wide.  It has gray bark.  It produces elliptic or ovate, glossy, dark green leaves, 2-4″ long, with smooth edges to spine toothed, with wavy margins, and long lasting, red rarely yellow or orange berries, to 1/4″ across.  Male and female flowers are usually borne on separate trees.

‘Amber’ – is a female tree growing 20′ feet tall and 8′ feet wide.  From mid green stems it carries elliptic, usually smooth edged, bright green leaves,, to 3″ long, and abundant amber-yellow fruit

‘Angustifolia’ – has green or purple stems that carry weak-spined, lance shaped, dark green leaves with a neat pyramidal shape

‘Argentea Marginata’ – ‘Argentea Variegata’ – is a columnar female growing 50′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide and has cream streaked green stems and large, broadly ovate, spiny leaves, to 3″ long, with wide white margins.  Leaves are purplish pink when young.   Bears abundant bright red berries.

Argentea Marginata Pendula’ – ‘Argentea Pendula’ - is a weeping female growing to 12′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide.  From purple stems it carries elliptic, spiny, cream edged leaves, to 3″ long, purple-pink when young.  Sparsely bears red fruit.

‘Bacciflava’ - This female tree grows 50′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide and produces ovate, spiny, dark green leaves, to 3″ long.  Bears yellow berries.

‘Ferox’ – ‘Hedgehog Holly’ - this large upright, male shrub grows 20-50′ feet tall.  From purple stems it carries ovate, thick, leathery leaves, to 1 ½” long with spines over their entire surface.

 

‘Ferox Argentea’ this sport of ‘Ferox’ is a male slower growing shrub to 25′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  From purple stems it carries cream edged, dark green leaves, to 1 ½” long, covered in spines

Golden Milkboy’ – this dense, upright, male shrub grows 20′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  From purple stems it carries elliptic, spiny leaves, to 3″ long, with irregular gold central markings

‘Golden Queen’ – ‘Aurea Regina’ – this dense, male tree grows 30′ feet tall and 20′ feet wide.  From cream streaked, green stems it carries large, broadly ovate, spine toothed leaves, to 3″ long, broadly edged with gold.

‘Golden Van Tol’ – this broad, upright female shrub grows 12′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide.  From purple stems it carries ovate, puckered,,, dull green leaves, to 3″ long, with golden yellow edges and few spiny teeth.  Sparsely bears red fruit.

Handsworth New Silver’ - is a dense, columnar female shrub growing 25′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  From dark purple stems it carries oblong-elliptic, mid green, spiny leaves, to 3 ½” long, with creamy edges.  It freely bears bright red berries.

‘J.C.. Van Tol’ – this broad female tree grows 15-20′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  From dark purple stems it carries elliptic, puckered, almost smooth edged, dark green leaves, to 3″ long.  It is self fertile and bears abundant bright scarlet berries.

‘Madame Briot’ – is a vigorous female form with strongly spined, egg shaped, glossy, dark green leaves, with gold edges and bright red fruit

‘Pyramidalis’ – is a narrowly conical, upright female shrub or small tree growing 20′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  From yellow-green stems it carries narrowly elliptic, smooth edged to a few spine toothed, bright green leaves, to 3″ long.  It bears abundant bright red berries and is self fertile.

‘Pyramidalis Fructu Luteo’ – is a female conical shrub or small tree with yellow berries

‘Silver Milkboy’ - is a dense male shrub growing 20′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  From greenish yellow stems it carries elliptic, spiny, mid green leaves to 2 ½” long, with irregular silver markings.  Shy flowering, but when it does it bears fruit, produces abundant scarlet berries

‘Silver Milkmaid’ – grows 20′ feet tall and 1`2′ feet wide and is a sport of ‘Silver Milkboy’, with an open habit, spreading when mature.  It produces elliptic-ovate, sharply spined, dark green leaves, to 2″ long, with irregular, silver white markings in the centers.  Bears abundant scarlet berries

‘Silver Queen’ – ‘Silver King’ - is a dense, upright, slow growing male tree to 30′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  From purple stems it carries broadly ovate, spiny leaves, to 3″ long, with broad, creamy white margins.

Zones 7-9

 

Dragon Lady Holly Dragon Lady Holly

I. x aquipernyi – This conical evergreen shrub or small tree is a cross between I. aquifolium and I. pernyi and grows 20′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  It produces diamond shaped to oblong, strong spined, glossy, dark green leaves, to 1 ½” long, with long tips.  It bears red fruit that are up to 3/8″ across.

Dragon Lady Holly Dragon Lady Holly
Dragon Lady Holly Evergreen Dragon Lady Holly Evergreen

‘San Jose’ – is a female tree bearing abundant bright red berries

Zones 6-8

 

I. x attenuata – Topel Holly – This conical, evergreen shrub is a naturally occurring cross between I. cassine and I. opaca and grows 12′ feet tall and half as wide.  It produces obovate-lance shaped, light green leaves, to 3″ long, spine toothed near the tips.  It bears dark red berries, to 1/4″ long.

‘East Palatka’ – is a narrowly pyramidal female tree with a looser habit, and spineless leaves

Foster #2′ – ‘Foster’s Holly’ -is a narrowly pyramidal female tree growing 20-30′ feet tall and half as wide with narrow, elliptic to oblong leaves.  It bears abundant bright red berries

Sunny Foster’ is slow growing and produces yellow-splashed leaves and bright red berries.

Zones 6-8

 

I. cassine – ‘Dahoon Holly’ – This rounded, pyramidal, densely branched, evergreen tree from Eastern USA and Cuba grows 20-40′ feet tall and 8-15′ feet wide.  It produces oblong to oblong-lance shaped, pointed, marrow, shiny, smooth edged or toothed, mid green leaves, to 2″ long, have pronounced mid ribs.  It bears abundant red to orange-yellow berries, to 1/4″ across.  Adaptable to wet conditions.

Zones 8-9

 

I. ‘China Girl’ - This very hardy, compact, rounded, evergreen female shrub is a cross between I. cornuta and I. rugosa grows 10′ feet tall and wide.  It produces elliptic-ovate, glossy mid green leaves, to 2″ long, with slightly downward-cupped teeth.  It bears abundant rich red fruit, 1/3″ across.

‘China Boy’ - is the male counterpart

Zones 4-8

 

I. ciliopinosa - This upright, usually multi stemmed, evergreen shrub from Western China grows 20′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  It produces elliptic-ovate, dull, dark green leaves, to 2 ½” long, with short fine spines.  It bears red fruit, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 6-9

 

I. ‘Clusterberry’ – This upright, evergreen female shrub grows 15′ feet tall and half as wide.  It produces oblong or obovate-oblong, few spined, glossy, dark green leaves, 3-6″ long.  It bears, large red berries, to ½” across.

Zones 7-9

 

I. colchica - This evergreen shrub from the Black Sea region grows to 20′ feet tall.  It leaves are strongly spined, glossy, green and elliptic to lance shaped.  It bears red berries.

Zones 6-9

 

I. corallina – This evergreen tree from Western and Southwestern China grows to 40′ feet tall and is variable in habit.  Young plants have very spiny leaves but in older plants the leaves are weakly spined or toothed, glossy green, egg to lance shaped or elliptic.  It has round red berries.

Zones 6-9

I. cornuta – Chinese Holly -Horned Holly - This dense, rounded, evergreen shrub from China and Korea grows 6-12′ feet tall and 6-15′ feet wide.  It produces rectangular, glossy, dark green leaves, 2-3″ long, usually with spiny points.  It bears long lasting, large red berries, to ½” across and is self fertile.

Burfordii’  – has leaves with a single spine at the apex, and bears red berries very freely

‘Dwarf Burford’ - grows 8-10′ feet tall and wide and is dense, compact in habit and bears dark red berries

‘Routunda’ - is a female shrub with rounded leaves.  It bears dull red berries, to 1/3″ across.

Zones 7-9

Japanese Holly Japanese Holly

I. crenata – Japanese Holly – This frost hardy, evergreen, very variable shrub or small tree, from Russia, Japan and Korea grows 15′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  It produces ovate to elliptic, minutely scalloped, glossy, deep green leaves, to 1 1/4″ long, often pitted beneath.  It bears dull white flowers and glossy, black, sometime white or yellow fruit, to 1/4″ across.

Ilex Crenata Ilex Crenata
Ilex Excelsa Ilex Excelsa

‘Bee Hive’ – grows 24-36″ tall and 24″ wide and is an oval, mounded, male shrub with elliptic, slightly toothed leaves, to 3/4″ long.  Useful for hedging

‘Bruns’ – grows 3′ feet tall and 5′ feet wide and is a compact male shrub with grayish green leaves

Convexa’ – ‘Bullata’ – grows 8′ feet tall and 6′ feet wide and is a dense, broad female shrub with purple-green stems carrying elliptic, curled glossy, mid to dark green leaves, to 3/4″ long.  It bears abundant glossy black fruit

‘Dwarf Pagoda’ - grows 12″ tall and wide and is an upright, dwarf female shrub with irregular branching and tiny leaves, to ½” long.  It bears black berries.  Valuable as an accent plant, in a rock garden, or as a bonsai

‘Golden Gem’ – grows 3 ½’ feet tall and 4-5′ feet wide and is a compact, low growing, shy flowering female shrub with golden yellow leaves, to 3/4″ long, turning yellow-green in summer.  It bears black berries.  Best grown in full sun.

‘Green Lustre’ – is a compact male shrub with very dark green leaves which does not produce fruit

‘Helleri’ – is a female clone of spreading habit that can reach 5′ feet tall and wide, with sparsely spined leaves and black fruit

‘Ivory Tower’ – is fast growing, to 12′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide and is a female shrub with late ripening, ivory-white fruit.

f. latifolia – ‘Latifolia’ - is a shrub or small tree growing to 5′ feet tall and has oval, minutely scalloped leaves, to 1 ½” long, female plants produce black berries

‘Mariesii’ – var. nummularioides – I. mariesii - grows 24-36″ tall and is very slow growing, female shrub with tiny, broadly ovate to rounded, smooth edged, dark green leaves, to ½” long.  It bears black fruit

‘Schwoebel’s Compact’ - is a low spreading dwarf shrub to 3′ feet tall

‘Shiro-Fukurin’ – ‘Fukarin’ – I. ‘Snow Flake’ - is upright growing to 12′ feet tall and wide and is a female shrub bearing ovate, gray-green leaves with cream markings.  It bears black fruit

 

Ilex Sky Pencil Ilex Sky Pencil
  

‘Sky Pencil’  - is exceptionally narrow and erect

‘Variegata’ – ‘Aurevariegata’ – ‘Luteovariegata’ - grows 12′ feet tall and is a shy flowering male shrub with elliptic leaves, spotted or marked yellow which often reverts back to green

Zones 5-7

 

I. cyrtura  - This evergreen tree from China and Northern Myanmar grows to 50′ feet tall.  It produces oblong to lance shaped leaves with a pointed tip, which are yellow-green and toothed.  The flowers are borne in panicles and are followed by red berries.

Zones 7-10

 

I. decidua – ‘Possumhaw’ – ‘Winterberry’ – This frost hardy, upright, deciduous shrub or rarely a small tree from Central and Southeastern USA grows 6-20′ feet tall and wide.  It has a slender pyramidal head and is late to come into leaf in spring.  It produces oval or narrowly obovate, scalloped, mid green leaves, to 1 11/2″ long, are crowded on short lateral spurs.  Bears red or orange, occasionally yellow fruit, to 3/8″ across.

Warren Red’ - grows 20′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide and is more upright and bears lustrous dark green leaves   and abundant, long persistent, glossy, bright red fruit, 1/4″ across.

Zones 5-9

 

I. dimorphylla - This evergreen, rounded shrub from Japan grows 5′ feet tall and 3′ feet wide.  It produces oval, smooth edged, spine tipped, glossy, dark green leaves, to 1 1/4″ long, elliptic and very spiny when young.  Bears tiny red fruit, to 1/8″ across.

Zones 8-9

 

I. dipyrena – Himalayan Holly - This dense, upright, evergreen tree from Eastern Himalayas and Western China grows 50′ feet tall and 40′ feet wide.  It produces oblong or elliptic, leathery, dull green leaves, 2-4 ½” long, with abundant spines when young, fewer when mature.  Bears red berries, to 3/8″ across.

Zones 7-9

 

I. x ‘Doctor Kassab’ - This broadly pyramidal, evergreen female tree is a cross between I. cornuta and I. pernyi grows 20′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  From upturned branches it carries elliptic to ovate, lightly toothed, glossy, dark green leaves, to 2″ long.  Bears abundant, bright red fruit, to 3/8″ across.

Zones 6-9

I. ‘Elegance’ – This narrowly, conical, evergreen, female tree grows 20′ feet tall and half as wide.  From brittle branches it carries elliptic, spiny, dark green leaves, to 2″ long.  It bears red berries, to ½” across.  May be short lived.

Zones 6-9

I. fargesii – This broadly conical, evergreen shrub or tree from Tibet and China grows 40′ feet tall and half as wide.  It produces oblong to linear-lance, leathery, dull dark green leaves, 2 ½-5″ long.  Bears scarlet fruit, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 6-9

 

I. glabra  – Gallberry – Inkberry – This erect, evergreen shrub from Eastern North America grows 10′ feet tall and wide.  It produces narrowly obovate to inversely lance shaped, glossy, dark green leaves, to 2″ long, pitted beneath, with a spiny tip.  It bears white flowers and rounded, black, occasionally white fruit, to 3/8″ across.  Good for hedging.

Compacta’ - grows 4-6′ feet tall and wide and is more compact and rounded than the species

Zones 5-9

I. ‘Harvest Red’ - This vigorous, irregularly rounded, deciduous female shrub is a cross between I. verticillata and I. serrata and grows 10′ feet tall and 10-12′ feet wide.  From dark branches it carries narrowly oval to ovate, toothed, lustrous, dark green leaves, 1 ½-4″ long, turning red-purple in fall.  Bears abundant, persistent, bright red berries, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 4-8

 

I. ‘Indian Chief’ – This compact, upright, evergreen female shrub is a cross between I. cornuta and I. pernyi and grows 6-10′ feet tall and 5-8′ feet wide.  It produces almost stalkless, diamond shaped to nearly rectangular, glossy, dark green leaves, to 4″ long, with 5 prominent spines.  Bears red berries.

Zones 5-9

 

I. integra – Nepal Holly – This evergreen shrub from Korea, Japan and Taiwan grows to 20′ feet tall.  It produces leaves that are dark green, glossy, smooth edged, and elliptic to inversely egg shaped.  The flowers are pale yellow and are followed by deep red berries.

Zones 7-10

 

I. ‘John T. Morris’ - This dense, conical, evergreen male shrub is a cross between I. cornuta and I. pernyi and grows 20-25′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  It produces almost stalkless, diamond shaped to nearly rectangular, glossy, dark green leaves, to 2 ½” long, with 5 spines.

Zones 6-9

 

 

I. kingiana – I. insignis – This upright, evergreen tree from Eastern Himalayas and China, grows 15′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  From thick, silvery gray branches it carries lance to egg shaped, leathery, glossy, mid to dark green leaves, 6-8″ long, very spiny when young, slightly toothed or smooth edged when mature.  Young seedlings have waxy leaves,, to 3/8″ long, with the spines pointing in all directions.  It bears green-yellow flowers followed by large clusters of bright red berries, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 7-9

 

I. x koehneana - This narrowly conical, evergreen shrub is a cross between I. aquifolium and I. latifolia and grows 20′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  From olive green twigs it carries large, glossy, mid green leaves which are oblong to elliptic, 3-5″ long, with larger marginal spines.  It bears red fruit, to 3/8″ across.

‘Chestnut Leaf’ - is female with light or yellowish green leaves and red berries

‘Wirt L. Winn’ -is distinctly pyramidal, with oblong, glossy, spiny edged dark green leaves and abundant red fruit.

Zones 7-9

 

I. latifolia – This narrowly, conical, evergreen shrub from China and Japan grows 20′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  From thick, olive green twigs it carries oblong to egg shaped, smooth edge to spine toothed, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves, 3-7″ long.  In late spring and early summer it bears yellowish green flowers, followed by abundant orange-red berries, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 7-9

 

I. ‘Lydia Morris’ - This dense, conical, evergreen female shrub is a cross between I. cornuta and I. pernyi and grows 20-25′ feet tall and 15′ feet wide.  It produces almost stalkless, diamond shaped to nearly rectangular, glossy, black green leaves, to 3″ long, with 5 spines.  It bears red berries, 3/8″ across, which is often hidden by the foliage

Zones 6-9

 

I. macrocarpa – This rounded to broadly spreading, deciduous tree from Southern and Southwestern China grows 55-60′ feet tall and 40′ feet wide.  From spur like branchlets it carries elliptic or ovate-elliptic, shallowly toothed, bright green leaves, to 4 ½” long.  In late spring it bears greenish white flowers followed by large, flattened, spherical, mid green berries, maturing to black, to 3/4″ across.

Zones 7-9

 

Blue Holly Blue Holly

 

I. x meserveae – Blue Holly – Meserve Holly – Hybrid Blue Holly - This dense, vigorous, erect to spreading, evergreen shrub is a cross between I. rugosa and I.. Aquifolium, and grows 6-15′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide and resembles I. aquifolium.  It produces usually small, elliptic to ovate, spiny, glossy, bluish green leaves, 3/4-2″ long.  White to pinkish white flowers appear in late spring, followed on female plants by glossy red berries, to 1/4″ across.

Blue Holly Blue Holly

 

‘Blue Angel’ – is slow growing and is a compact female reaching 12′ feet tall and half as wide.  From dark purple stems it carries elliptic, glossy, dark bluish green leaves, 1 3/4″ long.  It is the least hardy of the blue hollies

 

Blue Holly Ilex Blue Holly Ilex

 

‘Blue Boy’ – grows 10′ feet tall and is a spreading male shrub with purplish green stems and ovate, glossy, dark greenish blue leaves, to 1 3/4″ long.

‘Blue Girl’ – is female and grows to 10′ feet tall and is the counterpart of “Blue Boy’ with abundant red berries

‘Blue Maid’ – is a dense female shrub growing 12′ feet wide and bears abundant red fruit.  Probably the hardiest of the blue hollies

‘Blue Prince’ – is similar to ‘Blue Boy’ with purplish green stems bearing glossy, bright green leaves

‘Blue Princess’ – is similar to ‘’Blue Girl’ with larger and glossier leaves, to 2 ½” long and is more abundant with its berries and grows 10′ feet tall.

Zones 5-9

 

I. mitis – Cape Holly - This thick trunk evergreen species from the wetter regions of Southern and Eastern Africa, grows to 30′ feet tall.  It has smooth edged, 3″ long leaves that oblong to lance shaped tapering to a fine point.  The juvenile foliage is red.  White flowers borne in spring and summer are followed by red berries.

Zones 8-11

 

I. myrtifolia – Myrtle Daboon – Myrtle Holly – This evergreen tree found in coastal areas of Southeastern USA, grows to 40′ feet tall.  It has glossy green leaves which are oblong and rounded.  The whitish flowers are followed by solitary red berries.

Zones 7-9

 

I. ‘Nellie R. Stevens’- This vigorous, evergreen female tree is a cross between I. cornuta and I. aquifolium and grows 20-25′ feet tall and half as wide.  It produces oblong-ovate, sparsely spiny, highly glossy, dark green leaves, 2-3″ long.  It bears abundant shiny orange-red fruit, to ½” across.

Zones 7-9

 

I. opaca – American Holly - This erect, evergreen, large shrub or tree from Central and Eastern USA grows 40-50′ feet tall and 20-40′ feet wide.  It produces oblong to elliptic, spine toothed or smooth edged, leathery dull, dark green leaves, 2-4″ long, that are yellowish green on the undersides.  It bears creamy white flowers followed by crimson, or occasionally yellow or orange fruit, 1/4″ across.  It prefers acidic soil and there are 1,000 cultivars.

‘Canary’ - has light green leaves with small spines and abundant yellow berries

‘Farage’ - has large, deeply spined, dark green leaves and abundant red fruit

‘Jersey Knight’ - is a male tree with shiny, dark green leaves

‘Miss Helen’ - is a dense, conical tree with elliptic, spiny, dark green leaves, to 3″ long, and abundant dark red fruit, which ripens early and is borne at a young age

‘Morgan Gold’ - is compact and free fruiting, with bright yellow berries

‘Old Heavy Berry’ - is vigorous, with elliptic to oval, lustrous dark green leaves and abundant red fruit.

Zones 5-9

I. pedunculosa – Longstalked Holly - This upright, evergreen tree or shrub from China, Taiwan and Japan grows 30′ feet tall and 20-22′ feet wide.  It produces egg shaped, pointed, smooth edged, glossy, dark green leaves, to 3″ long, bronze-tinted when young.  It bears white flowers followed by bright red fruit, to 3/8″ across, on long stalks.

Zones 6-9

 

I. perado - This upright, evergreen shrub or small tree from the Canary Islands grows 20-30′ feet tall and 20-22′ feet wide.  It produces oblong or lance shaped, toothed, or smooth edged, leathery, thorny, glossy, dark green leaves, 2 ½-4″ long.  It bears red fruit, to 3/8″ across.

Subsp. platyphylla – I. platyphylla - has broadly ovate leaves, 4-6″    Long.

Zones 7-9

 

I. pernyi – Perny’s Holly – This upright, evergreen shrub from Western and Central China grows 30′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide although usually less in cultivation.  It produces almost stalkless, diamond shaped to nearly rectangular, glossy, dark green leaves, to 1 1/4″ long, with 5 spines.  It bears yellowish flowers in late spring, followed by bright oval red fruit, to 3/8″ across.

Var. veitchii - has larger and broader leaves to 2″ long, with 3-5 spines on each side.

Zones 6-9

 

I. purpurea – I. chinensis of gardens - This conical, evergreen tree from China and Japan grows 40-45′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  It produces elliptic-lance shaped, occasionally ovate, mid to dark green leaves, 2-4 ½” long, purplish green when young.  Bears ellipsoid, glossy red fruit, to ½” across.

Zones 7-9

 

I. rotunda - This evergreen tree from Taiwan, Korea and China grows to 80′ feet tall in the wild.  It produces broadly elliptic, tin and smooth edged leaves.  It bears white which are followed by red berries.

Zones 7-9

 

I. ‘September Gem’ - This conical, evergreen female shrub is a cross between I. x aquipernyi and I. ciliospinosa and grows 10′ feet tall and 3′ feet wide.  It produces ovate, glossy, dark green leaves, to 2″ long, with insignificant spiny teeth.  It bears red berries, to 3/8″ across.

Zones 5-9

 


I. serrata – Japanese Winterberry – Finetoothe Holly – This deciduous, bushy shrub from China and Japan grows 15′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide.  From slender, purple twigs it carries oval to egg shaped, finely toothed, dull green leaves, to 3″ long, downy on both surfaces.  It bears white to pink flowers which are followed by bright red, sometimes yellow or white fruit, to 1/4″ across.  Often used as a bonsai.

Zones 5-7

 

I. ‘Sparkleberry’ – This vigorous, deciduous, upright, female shrub or small tree is a cross between I. serrata and I. verticillata and grows 15′ feet tall and 12′ feet wide.  It produces ovate, toothed, deep green leaves, 1 ½-4″ long, which persist until early winter.  It bears glossy red berries, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 5-9

 

I. verticillata – Black Alder – Winterberry – Coral Berry – Michigan Holly - This deciduous, suckering shrub or sometimes a small tree from Eastern North America grows 6-15′ feet tall and 4-15′ feet wide.  It produces obovate or lance shaped, toothed, bright green leaves, 1 1/4-4″ long, with long, sharp pointed tips, soft down or felting beneath and are purple tinged in spring and yellow in fall.  In mid spring it bears white flowers, followed by stalkless, spherical, dark red to scarlet, sometimes orange or yellow fruit, to 1/4″ across.  It tolerate wet conditions.

‘Nana’ – Red sprite - is dwarf growing 2-4′ feet tall and 3-5′ feet wide and is a small, rounded, female shrub with ovate, mid green leaves, to 2 ½” long.  It bears abundant large, bright red fruit, to ½” across.

‘Winter Red’ – is a vigorous, broad female shrub that grows 8-10′ feet tall and 10′ feet wide and produces dark green leaves.  It bears abundant, long lasting, intensely red berries, to 3/8″ across, usually hang on to spring.

Zones 5-8

 

I. vomitoria – Yaupon Holly – Carolina Tea – This fast growing, upright, irregularly branched, evergreen shrub or small tree found from Southeastern Virginia to Texas and Florida grows 15-20′ feet tall and 10-15′ feet wide.  It has white to gray bark.  It produces elliptic to egg shaped, scalloped edged, glossy, dark green leaves, to 1 ½” long, tapering at the bases.  It bears white flowers followed by abundant, persistent, translucent, scarlet red fruit, 1/4″ across.  Useful as a screen or hedge in swampy areas in full or part shade.

‘Nana’ grows 3-5′ feet tall and 8′ feet wide

‘Pendula’ - is a weeping form growing 20′ feet tall and bears clear red berries.

Zones 7-11

 

I. ‘Washington’ - This erect, conical, evergreen female shrub is a cross between I. ciliospinosa and I. cornuta grows 12′ feet tall and half as wide.  It produces ovate to oblong, spiny, glossy, light green leaves, to 2″ long.  It bears red berries.

Zones 5-9

 

 

I. x wandoensis - This naturally occurring cross between I. integra and I. cornuta occurs in Korea.  It produces foliage with the undersides of the leaves are very pale, showing through the translucent dark green upper surface, to create a yellow-green glow.  It bears a good crops of red berries.

Zones 7-10

 

I. yunnanensis - This evergreen, upright to rounded shrub from Northern Myanmar and China grows 12-15′ feet tall and wide.  From downy branchlets it carries elliptic to lance shaped, scalloped to toothed, glossy, dark green leaves, to 1 ½” long.  It bears white to pink or red flowers and rounded red fruit, to 1/4″ across.

Zones 5-8


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