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Ilex verticillata (f)

A large, suckering, deciduous shrub, about 2-3m tall, with bright green, oval to lance-shaped, toothed leaves, turning yellow in autumn. Clusters of small white flowers in mid-spring, are followed by masses of long-lasting, bright red, sometimes orange or yellow berries if pollinated by a male plant nearby; berries often persisting into winter

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Yellow Orange Red Yellow
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • 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
Deciduous
Habit
Spreading branched, Suckering
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

Correct

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in moist but well-drained neutral to acid soil in a sunny or part-shaded position. Not suited to chalky soils

Propagation

Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in late summer or hardwood cuttings in autumn to midwinter

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Cut flowers
  • Flower borders and beds
  • 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

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