American holly

Ilex opaca

Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
Photo/Illustration: 
Jennifer Benner
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American holly (Ilex opaca)
EYE-leks oh-PAK-ah
Genus:  Ilex
This erect, evergreen large shrub or tree reaches 40 to 50 feet in height and 20 to 40 feet wide. Leathery dark green leaves have pointy, scalloped edges. Small green berries appear in late summer, maturing to crimson by autumn and persisting through the winter. Some ripen to yellow or orange. Use American holly as a specimen tree or in a woodland garden.
Care:  Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Hollies are dioecius, so a few male plants are needed for a female plant to produce berries. Can be kept shrub-like by pruning in the spring. Plant or transplant in spring.
Propagation:  Semi-ripe cuttings in summer or early autumn.
Problems:  Young shoots are susceptible to aphids. Also watch for scale insects and leaf miners. Phytophtora root rot sometimes occurs.

Overview

Height
Over 30 ft.
Spread
Over 30 ft.
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Native,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Fruit
Foliage Color
Evergreen
Uses
Hedge,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Trees

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