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Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Trees, Shrubs, & Vines

Winter's Hollies (page 3 of 5)

by Michael MacCaskey

Evergreen Hollies

Ilex altaclarensis
English Holly Hybrids ? N, S, W. Hardy to 0&geg;F.
Fast-growing, 10 to 20 feet high and six to eight feet wide. Leaves 2-1/2 to four inches long with wavy margins, sometimes spineless.

'Camelliifolia'. Leaves glossy, olive-green, 3-1/2 to five inches long, two inches wide with mostly spineless margins. Berries red.

'Wilsonii'. Leaves glossy green, to five inches long and 2-1/2 inches wide with numerous, evenly developed 1/4-inch-long spines. Berries medium size, red.

Ilex aquifolium
English Holly ? N, S, W. Hardy to -10?. The classic holly, native throughout northern, southern and central Europe. Boughs are sold for holiday decoration. Leathery, glossy, dark green leaves are one to two inches long, often with wavy and spiny margins. Also known as Oregon holly.

'Angustifolia'. Narrow, pyramidal growth. Leaves narrow, spiny. Berries small and bright red.

'Argenteo-marginata'. Grows to 25 feet. Leaf margins variegated silver. Berries red.

'Aureo-marginata'. Leaf margins are gold.

'Big Bull'. Male pollinizer for all English hollies.

'Ciliata Major'. Grows to 30 feet. Leaves glossy, dark green, spiny. Bark of young shoots purple. Berries red.

Gold Coast ('Monvila'). Dwarf male pollinizer that grows six to eight feet high. Leaves edged bright golden yellow.

'Little Bull'. Male pollinizer with small, glossy, shiny leaves. Grows to 15 feet.

'San Gabriel'. Grows to 25 feet. Leaves glossy, dark green. Sets some red berries without male pollen.

Sparkler ('Monler'). Robust and upright to 15 feet. Produces berries at young age.

Ilex aquipernyi
English Holly Hybrids ? W. Hardy to -5?F. Diminutive versions of English holly suited to smaller gardens. These will produce some berries without pollen from male plant. Good specimen plant.

'San Jose'. Eight feet high and four feet wide. Leaves deep green. Berries bright red. Popular in West.

Ilex attenuata
Topel Holly ? S. Hardy to 0?F. Loosely branched hybrids of dahoon holly (I. cassine) and American holly (I. opaca) with pyramidal habit and heavy fruiting. Height 20 to 30 feet. Leaves flat, 1-1/2 to four inches long, light green, with a single spine and smaller teeth at the tip. Dark red berries last until February or March. Similar in many respects to various forms of I. cassine. Primarily grown in the Southeast.

'East Palatka'. Leaves large and spineless. Berries large.

'Foster's #2'. Leaves small and glossy green with spiny margin. Shape is compact and pyramidal. Berry crop abundant. Usually sold as Foster's Holly.

'Greenleaf'. Leaves thin with small spines. Berries red, abundant.

'Savannah'. Vigorous growth to 50 feet. Leaves large, uniformly spiny. Berries red. Hardy to 5?F.

Ilex cassine
Dahoon Holly ? S. Hardy to 20?F. Variable, loose-growing shrub or small tree that can reach 20 feet but is normally half that. Leaves flat, leathery, dark green, long and narrow; three to four inches long, 1-1/2 inches wide. Berries red or sometimes orange or yellow. Native of moist, acid soils along the coastal plain from Virginia to Florida and west to Louisiana.

Ilex cornuta
Chinese Holly ? S. Hardy to 0?F. Compact shrubs or small trees. This group is highly variable, but usually leaves are shiny green, two to three inches long and one inch wide, rectangular shape, and with one or two spines on each side and one at the tip. Berries are proportionately large, about 1/4- to 3/8-inch in diameter, and on long stems; they last through winter. Male pollinizer not essential, but more berries will set if a male plant is nearby. Flowers come in very early spring so are subject to late spring frost. Smaller at maturity than English holly so more practical for many gardeners, this is one of the most widely planted hollies. Native of China and Korea.

'Anicet Delcambre' ('Needlepoint' and 'Willowleaf' are similar). Grows 15 feet high and wide. Leaves narrow, glossy, dark green, slightly twisted. Berries large, dark red.

'Berries Jubilee'. Grows slowly to four to six feet high and wide. Berries red, very large and produced from early age.

'Burfordii'. Grows 15 feet high, 10 feet wide. Leaves 1-1/4 inch long, and 3/4 inch wide, with one spine at tip. Berries large, bright red. 'Dwarf Burford' grows 10 feet high in 40 years. Other named dwarf forms, such as 'Rotunda' (very spiny leaves, to six feet high in 40 years), are available.

'Dazzler'. Grows upright, pyramidal shape to 10 feet, equally wide. Leaves very glossy green. Berries large, red.

Ilex hybrids China Boy and China Girl
N, S, W. Hardy to 0?F. These are similar to and often listed with the Meserve hollies (I. meserveae), but are complex hybrids involving other hollies.

'China Boy'('Mesdob'). Male pollinizer, or for landscape use. Grows eight to 10 feet high, six to eight feet wide. Tolerates shearing. Leaves deep green and lustrous.

China Girl ('Mesog'). Same as China Boy but with bright red berries.

Ilex hybrid 'Emily Bruner'
N, S. Hardy to 0?F. Large, broad shrub to 20 feet high. Leaves exceptionally large (to four inches long). Berries red. (A hybrid of I. cornuta 'Burfordii' and I. latifolia.)

Ilex hybrid 'Nellie R. Stevens' N, S. Hardy to 5?F. Grows 18 to 20 feet tall, 10 feet wide. Pyramidal shape, gradually spreading over time. Leaves shiny green with two or three spines on each side. Berries red. Hybrid of I. cornuta and I. aquifolium. Berries showy, bright orange-red, very abundant.

Ilex hybrid 'September Gem'
N, S, W. Hardy to 0?F. Small shrub to seven feet high. Berries ripen early, but are often consumed by migrating birds and are usually gone by Christmas. Often listed with I. aquipernyi hybrids, this is a hybrid of I. aquipernyi with a third species, I. ciliospinosa.

Ilex latifolia
Lusterleaf Holly ? N, S. Hardy to 0?F. Tree to 50 or more feet, but typically half that. Leaves large, four to six inches long, two to three inches wide, lustrous and dark green. Berries red, abundant, 1/4 to 3/8-inch in diameter, normally last through Christmas. Native of China and Japan.

Ilex meserveae
Blue or Meserve Hollies ? N. Hardy to -20?F. The evergreen holly for northern regions. Thes blue-green, spiny, 3/4 to two inches long. Hybrids of I. rugosa and I. aquifolium. Well-drained soil necessary. Used most frequently in the Northeast.

Berry Magic. One plant each of 'Blue Boy' and 'Blue Girl' (see below) grown in the same container.

Blue Angel. Dense, compact, slow growth. Leaves dark glossy green. Stems purple. Berries deep red.

'Blue Boy'. Male. Grows six to eight feet high, three to six feet wide.

'Blue Girl'. Same as 'Blue Boy' but with profusion of red berries.

'Blue Prince'. Male.

'Blue Princess'. An improved 'Blue Girl' with more lustrous blue-green leaves and more abundant berries. A deep green Christmas holly.

Blue Stallion ('Mesan'). Male. Similar to 'Blue Prince' but with better branching.

Ebony Magic. Grows in dense pyramidal shape 12 to 15 feet high, six to eight feet wide. Prominent side branches colored deep blue-black. Leaves 2-1/2 to three inches long, 1-1/2 inches wide, dark green. Berries orange-red, 1/2-inch in diameter. Hardy to -10?F.

Golden Girl ('Mesglog'). Berries yellow.

Ilex opaca
American Holly ? N. Hardy to -10?F. A tree to 50 or more feet in height, pyramidal to rounded form. Leaves vari Berries about 3/8-inch in diameter, usually bright red, but sometimes orange or yellow; they persist well into winter. Roots require good soil drainage. Flowers come late in spring, protecting young fruits from late spring frosts. Native to much of eastern North America from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, south to Florida and west to Texas, Missouri and Indiana, usually in association with oaks and pines.

'Cheerful', 'Merry Christmas' and 'Old Heavy Berry'. Leaves dark green, lustrous. Berries red.

'Canary'. Berries profuse, yellow.

'Mamie Eisenhower'. Berries brilliant red.

'Princeton Gold'. Berries yellow-gold.

'Stewart's Silver Crown'. New growth pinkish. Leaves variegated light creamy yellow.

Ilex vomitoria
Yaupon ? S. Hardy to 10?F. Shrub or small tree to 25 feet with stiff, grayish branches. Glossy, spineless green leaves 1-1/2 inches long, 3/4-inch wide. Nearly translucent berries about 1/4-inch in diameter, usually red but may be yellow. North American native, from Florida to Texas and north to southern Virginia and northern Arkansas.

'Folsom's Weeping'. Small tree, pendulous outer branches. Leaves glossy green. Berries red, abundant, nearly translucent. 'Grey's Weeping' is similar.

'Grey's Littleleaf'. Male. Upright and compact growth to 18 feet. Very small leaves 3/4-inch long, 1/2-inch wide. Berries red.

'Pride of Houston'. Branching habit erect, loose to 15 to 18 feet. Leaves nearly oval, lustrous, dark green. Berries red.

'Saratoga Gold'. Berries abundant, yellow.

'Wiggins Yellow'. Upright, spreading plant. Berries yellow.

'Will Fleming'. Extremely upright, to 12 feet high, one foot wide. Berries red.

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