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EvergreenElliptic or ovate, glossy, dark-green leaves 5-10cm (2-4in) long. Leaves may be entire, wavy, spine-toothed or with spiny margins.
HeightTo 25m (82ft)
HedgeIdeal for hedgingSuitable for a coastal hedge if some protection given from direct sea-winds
Tall ShrubTree or dense shrub. Usually erect or pyramidal. Long-lasting red, rarely orange or yellow berries.
Hardy - very cold winterHardy in all of UK and northern Europe. Plant can possibly withstand temperatures down to -20°C (-4°F)
- Mature Size
- Tips and Advice
- Goes Well With
- Planting Combinations
- Other Suggestions
- See Also...
Additional FeaturesBerriesThese plants have berries.Good to knowWildlife plant. Important as cover for small birds. Food for birds, holly blue butterfly caterpillars, moths. Makes a good hedge.Medicinal propertiesHolly leaves have diuretic properties and were also used in prescriptions for coughs and bronchitis.Pests & DiseasesScale insects, leaf miners.Place of originWestern and southern Europe, northern Africa, western Asia.
Garden Location/ConditionsCoastal / windsweptSlightly back from the sea with more shelter
Pruning groupPruning group 1Suitable for: Deciduous and evergreen trees, and some deciduous shrubs.
Pruning: Minimal pruning required. Prune wayward or crossing branches to maintain a healthy framework.
When: When dormant in the late winter/early spring. Some in the summer/autumn to prevent bleeding of sap.
RHS group 1
Soil ConditionsFertile moist well-drained soil
Tree ShapeBroadly columnarConical
WildlifeBee friendlyBird friendlyButterfly friendly
- Ilex Growing Guide
- Ilex propagation - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Ilex acquifolium 'Bacciflava' - Video Tip ondemand_video
- I. verticillata & dimorphophylla - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Ilex Species Article
- How to plant a tree - Video Tip ondemand_video
- How to plant a tree
- Ties - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Restaking fallen young trees - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Fallen old tree - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Clearing up fallen beech tree - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Spring pruning - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Removing side shoots - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Pruning and Shaping Magnolia - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Deer protection - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Weed Spraying - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Removing Ivy - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Removing wire protection - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Tree Survey - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Crown uplift - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Removing shoots below graft - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Removing peeling bark - Video Tip ondemand_video
- Maintaining variegation - Video Tip ondemand_video
to 25m (82ft)
Buy Varieties of ILEX aquifolium
female, silver variegated
male clone with dark green spiny leaves
female. Yellow berries
male, creamy-white leaf margins on convoluted and puckered leaves with large spines
female. Pyramidal habit, yellow edged foliage and orange berries
female. Dark but almost spineless green leaves and red fruits
self-fertile, narrowly conical, upright, female form
male. Cream-edged leaf