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Ilex crenata

Japanese holly

I. crenata is a slow-growing, evergreen shrub or small tree, to 6m tall, with glossy, sometimes spiny, wavy-toothed, tiny leaves to 3cm long and nearly 2cm wide. Small white flowers, borne in summer, are followed by black fruits

Other common names
box-leaved holly

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1–1.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Green Black
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or North–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Aquifoliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Berries may cause mild stomach upset if ingested. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling
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

Correct

Plant range
Far East

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in a well-drained soil in a sunny position or part shade. Excellent as a dwarf hedge

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by semi-hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Hedging and screens
  • Garden edging
Pruning

Pruning group 8

Pests

Aphids, scale insects and holly leaf miner may be a problem

Diseases

May be affected by holly leaf blight

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