The Q&A Archives: Fruitless 'san Jose' Holly

Question: Six years ago we planted a 'San Jose' holly in our garden.
Although it has grown well, it has produced almost no fruit.
Having sold many 'San Jose' holly to gardeners in our region, some have expressed similar results.
Do you have any advice for us ? Thank you.

Answer: Ilex x aquipernyi 'San Jose' is a hybrid English holly. A female clone of Ilex aqifolium is ilex pernyi. The male clone is 'aquipern'. It sounds as though you might have a male holly. If it has never set berries, it's male. If it sets a few berries, it's a female holly, and it's certainly capable of setting more fruit, provided the flowers are pollinated by a male (non-berry setting) holly. Hope this helps clear up the mystery!

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