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Ilex aquifolium 'Laurifolia' (m)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

Large, slow-growing, upright bushy evergreen tree up to 20m tall, with deep purple shoots bearing usually spine-free, dark green, glossy leaves. This male variety does not produce berries, but has small white flowers in late spring, a good pollinator for female holly plants

Size
Ultimate height
Higher than 12 metres
Time to ultimate height
20–50 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple White Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Purple Green
Winter Purple Green
Position
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Aquifoliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy, Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling. Pets: Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten - see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants for further information and useful contact numbers
Genus

Ilex can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs and trees with often spiny leaves, small white flowers (male and female usually on separate plants) and, on female plants, showy berries in autumn

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun or part shade

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer or early autumn or propagate by hardwood cuttings in January with bottom heat

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1; trim hedges in early spring

Pests

May be susceptible to scale insects, Holly leaf miner and young shoots may be susceptible to aphids

Diseases

May be susceptible to holly leaf blight, Phytophthora root rot and sometimes honey fungus

Get involved

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