Ilex aquifolium is our common holly bush. The dark green, spiny leaves and bright red berries are what we usually think of as holly. However, there are many different varieties – over 400 from around the world.
The Ilex genus ranges from small shrubs to large climbers, with diverse leaf shapes, textures and variegation and berries of different colours. Although holly will always be synonymous with Christmas, it has a life well beyond the festive period. It is easy to grow and makes a great addition to a garden as an evergreen architectural specimen, clipped bush or hedge.