Ilex aquifolium (English Holly) is an evergreen tree native to western and southern Europe, including the British Isles. It is a member of the family Aquifoliaceae and is widely cultivated for its attractive foliage and bright red berries. Here's some information about Ilex aquifolium:
Appearance: English Holly is a slow-growing tree that can reach a height of 30 to 70 feet (9 to 21 meters) and has a dense, pyramidal or rounded crown. It has glossy, leathery leaves that are dark green and spiny. The leaves are usually elliptical with wavy or slightly serrated edges, and they remain on the tree throughout the year.
Flowers and Fruits: English Holly is dioecious, which means individual trees are either male or female. The small, inconspicuous flowers appear in spring and are creamy white in color. Female trees produce clusters of bright red berries in autumn, which persist through winter and are a popular food source for birds.
Growing conditions: English Holly prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils. It is relatively drought-tolerant once established but benefits from regular watering, especially during dry periods. English Holly is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9.
Maintenance: English Holly is a relatively low-maintenance tree. It requires minimal pruning, usually to remove any dead or damaged branches. If you want to maintain a particular shape or size, pruning can be done in late winter or early spring. It's important to note that the leaves and berries of English Holly are toxic if ingested, so care should be taken if planted in areas frequented by children or pets.
Uses: English Holly is commonly planted as an ornamental tree in gardens, parks, and landscapes. It is valued for its attractive, year-round foliage and vibrant red berries, which provide winter interest. The spiny leaves also make it a good choice for creating a hedge or barrier. Additionally, English Holly branches with their glossy leaves and red berries are often used in holiday decorations, particularly during the Christmas season.
Botanical Name : Ilex aquifolium
Common Name : English Holly
Height : 15- 50 ft
Spread : 15 ft
Germination Info : Seed requires 4-6 months warm stratification followed by 120 days cold stratification
Hardiness zone : 7-9
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 3438