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Ilex aquifolium 'Gold Flash'


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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub

Flower colour



Fruit, Dramatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


photo by Christina Bollen, copyright GAP Photos (129505)

Plant details

This variegated form of the common holly makes an attractive evergreen shrub that can be grown as a specimen tree. The leaves are longer than most hollies with a light green centre making them the perfect compliment to the bright red berries. The berries are also a magnet for birds that will happily strip them before Christmas arrives. As with all hollies plants are either male or female. Both sexes are required for the female plants to produce their winter berries, which appear from late autumn to mid-winter.

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Genus: Ilex

Species: aquifolium

Cultivar: Gold Flash

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Flower colour: Green

Foliage colour: Golden variegation

Feature: Fruit, Dramatic foliage, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Dry

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 2000cm

Spread: 800cm

Reader reviews


Very good quick guide as I can't remember the veriety of Ilex in my garden but just wanted to know soil type and if shady or full sun before I moved it to it's new home in the garden.
Well done again Gardeners' World.


Friends in Sydenham have an over-large dominating holly bush - the common holly - that never flowers nor fruits, and there are no other hollies near by. It is in a sloping back garden, that is north facing, and my advice has been to take it out. The holly remains - but how to persuade them that it needs dealing with? And if it remains however severely pruned how do you find out what sex it is, and plant one of the other, to get the berries?

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