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ILEX  |  Aquifolium (English Holly)
ILEX  |  Aquifolium (English Holly)
ILEX  |  Aquifolium (English Holly)
ILEX  |  Aquifolium (English Holly)

ILEX | Aquifolium (English Holly)


ILEX | Aquifolium (English Holly)

Ilex aquifolium is a species of holly native to western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia. This is the species familiar in Christmas decoration.

As a tree, it can exceed 10 m in height. It is usually found as a shrub or a small tree about 1 m tall with a straight trunk and pyramidal crown which branches from the base. It is slow growing and it does not usually fully mature due to grazing, cutting, or fire. It can live 500 years, but usually does not reach 100.

Masses of bright red berries in autumn to winter and lustrous, spiny, dark green leaves, purplish-pink when young. This splendid holly makes an excellent, evergreen specimen tree for a sunny, medium-sized garden. It's particularly suitable for urban or coastal sites since it copes well with pollution and salt-laden air.


  • POSITION Full sun ,part shade 
  • SOIL TYPE: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
  • FROST HARDY: yes.
  • DROUGHT TOLERANT: once established, and well mulched.
  • SIZE:  normally between 1 and 3m
  • FLOWERS: early summer, white. Plant a male plant nearby to guarantee berries.
  • USES: hedging, topiary, mass planting,feature shrub, containers, excellent impenetrable barrier. 
  • PRUNE: after berries
  • EVERGREEN: yes
  • RATE OF GROWTH: Moderate
  • CARE:Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. Plants grown as free-standing specimens require minimal pruning - remove diseased or misplaced branches in spring. Trim plants grown as formal hedges in late summer. After pruning, apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost or manure around the base of the plant. 
  • CAUTION toxic if eaten/skin & eye irritant 

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