Ilex aquifolium

Common holly

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Key information

Plant type

Native shrub

Flower colour



Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


Ilex aquifolium

Plant details

Common holly, Ilex aquifolium, is a useful evergreen shrub that can be grown as a specimen tree, clipped bushes or as a hedge. There are dozens of varieties, many with variegated leaves. Plants are either male or female, and only the female plants bear berries. Both sexes are required for the female plants to produce berries, which appear from late autumn to mid-winter.

For best results grow Ilex aquifolium in moist but well-drained soil, in sun or shade. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Genus: Ilex

Species: aquifolium

Plant type: Native shrub

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Dry

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 2000cm

Spread: 800cm

Time to plant seeds: October to March

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This is fine but how do you know the sex of hollies?

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