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Ilex crenata

Box-leaved holly

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Key information

Plant type

Evergreen shrub


Dramatic foliage



Skill level


photo by Elke Borkowski, copyright GAP Photos (177514)

Plant details

Quite unlike the popular conception of a holly, this is a slow-growing evergreen species from Japan and Korea. It has tiny leaves, similar to edging box, which are non-prickly and, if plants are trimmed once or twice a year, can produce an attractive dense dwarf hedge. It's often used as an alternative to box, especially for topiary.

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Genus: Ilex

Species: crenata

Plant type: Evergreen shrub

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Dramatic foliage

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 500cm

Spread: 300cm

Time to plant: October to March

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