English holly

Ilex aquifolium

Photo/Illustration: 
Colleen Fitzpatrick
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English holly (Ilex aquifolium)
EYE-leks ah-kwih-FOE-lee-um
Genus:  Ilex
This tall, pyramidal, evergreen tree may be grown as a large shrub. Its evergreen, spiny foliage is leathery and glossy. Insignificant, though fragrant, flowers bloom in spring followed by red, orange, or yellow drupes that attract birds. Many cultivars are available.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  English holly is less hardy than our American holly ( I. opaca ) and is more difficult to grow in some areas of the country. However, it is an agressive/invasive plant in certain areas, including the Pacific Northwest.
Care:  Provide full sun to part shade and moist but well-drained soil in a sheltered site. In hot climates, English holly grows best with some afternoon shade. Prune in winter, if desired. Plant at least one male pollinator to ensure fruit set.
Propagation:  Take semi-ripe cuttings in summer or early fall.
Problems:  Holly leaf miner, spider mites, whitefly, scale, leaf spot, leaf rot, tar spot, powdery mildew. leaf scorch, leaf drop, chlorosis. Aphids may prey on young shoots.

Overview

Height
Over 30 ft.
Spread
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Invasive/Aggressive Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Attracts Song Birds,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Spring
Flower Color
White
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Hedge,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Shrubs

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