Ilex aquifolium

Ilex aquifolium

Holly

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Flowers
Flowers
Yes
Yes
Fruits
Fruits
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Key Information

  • Botanical name: Ilex aquifolium
  • Common name: Holly
  • Plant type: Shrub
  • Evergreen/Deciduous: Evergreen

Height: 20m

Spread: 8m

Flower colour:
  • White
Foliage colour:
  • Green
  • Features: Attractive to wildlife, Flowers, Fruit

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Common holly, Ilex aquifolium, is a useful evergreen shrub that can be grown as a specimen tree, clipped bush or 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).

Position

  • Sun exposure: Full sun, Dappled shade, Partial shade, Full shade
  • Aspect: North facing, East facing, South facing, West facing
  • Position in border: Middle, Back
  • Hardiness: Hardy
  • Soil type: Well drained/light/sandy, Clay/heavy/moist, Chalky/alkaline, Acidic

Wildlife

Attracts:
  • Bees

  • Beneficial insects

  • Birds

  • Butterflies / Moths

  • Other pollinators

  • Wildlife features: Nectar/pollen rich flowers, Provides shelter/habitat, Makes a good wildlife hedge, Seeds for birds, Caterpillar food plant

Care routine

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Sow
Sow
Yes
Yes
Yes
Plant
Plant
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Take cuttings
Take cuttings
Yes
Yes
Prune
Prune
Yes
Yes
Collect seed
Collect seed
Yes
Yes
Yes

Toxicity

Toxic to:
  • People

  • Cats

  • Dogs

  • Birds

  • Horses

  • Livestock

  • Toxic part: Fruit
  • Effects: Purgative if ingested

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