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The Mysterious Case of the Changing Berries of Holly

A characteristic of a holly plant or an entirely different plant?

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Hi All,

I recently saw a magnificent specimen of what I thought was a silver-variegated form of Holly.

My research suggests that it probably was Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata' as it had silver variegated spiky leaves and stood at 6m+ tall - evidently a mature specimen.

However, the berries baffle me. The berries are supposed to be red, however the berries of this specimen were cream with flecks of green.

Will these berries ripen to red before winter, or have I made a false ID?


At this time of year I think it's likely that what you've seen are the flower buds. 

Yes, you're probably right. I'll keep an eye on it to see if they open.


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