Deciduous Hollies - Female
Deciduous Hollies have for too long been the Cinderella of the Holly family, neglected and overlooked, as one writer put it. With the increasing desire for year-round interest in the landscape and recreating wildlife habitats, Deciduous Hollies are coming into their own at last. Female plants of the best kinds have berries that cling to the long branches in great abundance. The berries color up in early autumn before the leaves drop, but their effect is most striking when the branches are bare of leaves. The berries provide a spectacular splash of color before being taken by birds in winter. They are also suitable for cutting, adding bright color to autumn and holiday arrangements. Deciduous Hollies do best in rich, acid soil that is evenly moist but not waterlogged. Either full or part sun is fine, but best fruit set occurs in full sun.
Ilex verticillata 'Afterglow' - Winterberry
Glowing orange to orange-red berries on a lower growing Winterberry that can reach 10 feet high and wide. Leaves are glossy dark green. Pollinate with 'Jim Dandy' or 'Apollo'.
Ilex verticillata 'Maryland Beauty' - Winterberry
Oodles of berries, clustered all along the stems, color up early to a fine red on this compact introduction which reaches only 5 feet high and wide. This selection was originally selected for cut sprays, and the abundant and densely clustered berries make it useful if you're going to use Winterberry for this purpose. Pollinate with 'Jim Dandy' or 'Apollo. Z. 4-9
Stocky plants, grown in 1.5-gallon pots.
Ilex verticillata 'Oosterwijk' - Winterberry
We've been recommending Winterberry for cut-flower use for a long time, but the Dutch were way ahead of us and even developed this special selection for the cut-flower trade. 'Oosterwijk' (pronounced "Ohstervake") bears abundant bright red berries that are retained for a long time. Pollinate with 'Southern Gentleman' or 'Apollo'. Z. 4-9
Ilex verticillata 'Red Sprite' - Dwarf Winterberry
All parts of this plant are dwarf except for the bright red berries, which are the largest of the dwarf Winterberries. Compact and remaining small, 'Red Sprite' should be the choice of gardeners with limited space who nevertheless want to grow and enjoy Winterberry. Pollinate with 'Jim Dandy'. Z. 4-9
Stocky, well-branched plants.
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Gold' - Golden Winterberry
This branch sport of the legendary 'Winter Red' produces golden berries with an orange tinge, a nice contrast to red Winterberries. Makes up into a medium-sized shrub. Pollinate with 'Southern Gentleman' or 'Apollo'. PHS Gold Medal winner. Z. 4-9
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' - Winterberry
Intense red fruit color is usually retained throughout the winter, and the heavy fruiting may weigh down the branches of this multistemmed, erect, medium-sized Winterberry that grows broad with age. This fine selection is the standard by which Winterberries are judged. Pollinate with 'Southern Gentleman' or 'Apollo'. PP 2991. PHS Gold Medal. Z. 4-9
Deciduous Hollies - Male
A male Winterberry is required for berry set, and one male will pollinate several female plants within 50-100 feet. Select an appropriate male for the female plants to be grown.
Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy' (Male) - Male Winterberry
A good male pollinator for the following Hollies: 'Afterglow', 'Maryland Beauty' and 'Red Sprite'. A small to medium-sized shrub, growing to 5 feet or so. Z. 4-9
Plants ready this spring to pollinate any nearby female Winterberries!
Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy' (Male)
Ilex verticillata 'Southern Gentleman' (Male) - Male Winterberry
A medium-sized male pollinator for female Winterberries such as 'Oosterwijk', 'Winter Gold', and 'Winter Red'. Z. 4-9
Ilex x 'Apollo' (Male) - Hybrid Winterberry
A medium-sized shrub and good pollinator for the following Hollies: 'Afterglow', 'Maryland Beauty', 'Oosterwijk', 'Winter Gold', and 'Winter Red'. Z. 5-9
Apart from the beauty of their foliage and fruits, evergreen Hollies come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and forms—from great trees to small shrubs and even groundcovers, with large spiny leaves to small smooth ones. Holly berries can be red, orange, yellow, black, or white. A single evergreen Holly planted as a specimen can form the centerpiece of a garden, against which winter-flowering Witch Hazels or other shrubs will be shown to advantage. Hollies planted en masse make an effective and attractive hedge, screen, or barrier to provide privacy along boundaries, to line a driveway, or to block noise from the road. Most Hollies are amenable to pruning to fit a desired location or to shape to a desired look. Hollies require separate male and female plants in most cases for the female plant to produce berries. Male plants are identified as such; otherwise, all Holly selections offered are female plants. Generally, Hollies thrive in moist, well drained, acid soil containing organic matter. Full sun or part shade suits most of them as long as they are not overly exposed to desiccating winds or winter sun.
Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea-Marginata' - Variegated English Holly
A "silver" variegated English Holly. Glossy evergreen leaves with leaf margins streaked yellowish white. It produces polished dark red berries. It grows well in coastal areas of the Mid-Atlantic, slowly reaching 15-20 feet. Pollinate with a male English Holly, or try planting with Ilex Red Beauty, which carries some English Holly genes. Z. 6b-8
Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea' (Male) - Variegated Hedgehog Holly
Small, prickly leaves are beautifully marbled with white, particularly at the edges. New growth is often pink. This is a non-fruiting male selection with limited pollen production. Occasional pruning (with welder's gloves!) will allow you to maintain this slow-growing form as a shrub indefinitely. Z. 6b-8
Ilex crenata 'Drops of Gold' - Japanese Holly
The puckered foliage displays what looks like a drop of molten gold in the center of each dark green leaf. Grows well in either full sun or light shade. A daytime light for lining the driveway! Grows slowly to 5 feet. PP 14420. Z. 6-8
Ilex glabra 'Nigra' - Inkberry
One of the hardiest broadleaf evergreens, this native holly is also one of the toughest. It can be grown in full sun or considerable shade, in wet or dry soil, and it tolerates hot summers as well as bitterly cold winters. Salt spray does not faze it either. This billowy evergreen can even be used as a substitute for boxwood where boxwood is not hardy. While most Inkberries become rangy with age, 'Nigra' remains relatively compact, reaching about 3 feet. Lustrous dark green leaves are especially attractive. Z. 5-9
Nice, bushy plants.
Ilex pedunculosa (Female) - Longstalk Holly (Female)
The smooth tapered leaves of this unusual Holly are lustrous dark green, and the small red fruits occur in clusters at the ends of long stalks in the manner of cherries—most festive! We have seen Longstalk Holly planted at the corner of a house where its lush evergreen foliage and lax growth habit create a soft, rounded contour that effectively ties the house to the landscape. This Holly is so versatile, however, that at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, plantings of Longstalk Holly are used to soften the harsh paved surfaces of the parking area. One of the hardiest and loveliest evergreen Hollies, Longstalk Holly eventually becomes a large shrub or small tree. Only female I. pedunculosa set fruit, and a male I. pedunculosa should be planted nearby for pollination. Z. 5-8
Filled-out plants, grown in 2.5-gallon pots.
Ilex pedunculosa (Male) - Longstalk Holly (Male)
A male selected to pollinate female Longstalk Hollies. Z. 5-8
Ilex Red Beauty - Holly
A spanking new selection from the tireless Dr. Elwin Orton and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Red Beauty is an unusual tree form of the popular Meserve Hollies crossed with I. pernyi. Dark evergreen spiny leaves clothe this dense, compact new introduction. Shiny red fruits peek out from among the attractive leaves in fall and winter. This Holly forms a central leader at an early age and develops a narrow to medium conical form. After 7 years the original plant has grown 7 feet tall and 4.5 feet wide. PP 14308. (Cv. Rutzan). Z. 5-8
Ilex Winter Bounty - Spineless Holly
Bold glossy foliage and heavy red berry set inspired Holly breeder Dr. Elwin Orton to release this stunning hybrid of I. ciliospinosa and I. latifolia. Grows 14 feet high and 6 feet wide—a vigorous plant, Winter Bounty is best planted in dappled sun or light shade. In addition, Winter Bounty may be hardier than expected. A customer near State College, Pa., (Z. 5/6) wrote us recently: "I am very impressed with the hardiness of Winter Bounty. After a very rough winter, in which many of my even 'iron-clad' broadleaf evergreens burned, Winter Bounty shows zero damage." Cv. H635-13. Z. 6-9
Young plants, 6-12 inches.
Ilex opaca - American Hollies
There are few more beautiful sights in winter than the glistening leaves of an American Holly dusted with snow. The berries produced on female plants seem almost magical in the pale light of winter. Most American Hollies become stately trees over time, although a few selections remain low and spreading. A female plant of American Holly must bloom in proximity to a male in order to have a berry display. Male plants are identified as such; otherwise, all Holly selections are female plants. Our selections are vastly superior to the unnamed seedlings sometimes sold. We constantly receive inquiries about why American Hollies are practically unavailable in larger sizes with the classic “Christmas Tree” shape. The reason is not just that American Hollies are slow growing, but they do not begin to take on their classic shape until they are 6-8 years old, sometimes more. Until then they usually grow as a multistemmed, somewhat rangy shrub. There are two ways to deal with this. You can take a laissez-faire approach and allow the Holly to form its central leader in its own good time. Or you can stake the strongest stem as a leader as we do here at the nursery (except for the spreading types). Sometimes the plant will go along with our idea; other times it will decide that a different branch should be the central leader and put its energy into that one. Patience seems to be the only long-term remedy.
Ilex opaca 'Canary' - Yellow-Fruited American Holly
A handsome selection made from seed collected in North Carolina by the old Dilatush Nursery, Robbinsville, N.J., 'Canary' has buttercup yellow fruits with no hint of orange. Dark olive-green leaves have small spines and do not discolor in winter. Let this 'Canary' perform in your garden! Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Christmas Snow' - Variegated American Holly
The large, dark green leaves are outlined in creamy white and punctuated with silver and gold flecks and swirls. Abundant red berries are produced, and this selection may eventually grow to 30-35 feet. All American Hollies thrive in moist, well-drained soil in full sun or part shade, but variegated hollies do benefit from shade during the hottest part of the day. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Dan Fenton' - American Holly
The leaves have a unique "squarish" appearance and are large, dark, and glossy on this spreading conical tree with red fruits in winter. Dr. Orton of Rutgers University chose this selection to honor Daniel G. Fenton, a long-time resident of Millville, New Jersey, who dedicated his life to promoting hollies. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Grace' - American Holly
If you're pushing the cold hardiness limits of American Holly, then 'Grace' is a good one to try. It has survived -30°F and may well be the hardiest American Holly. A selection from West Virgina seed, 'Grace' produces large clusters of vivid red berries that ripen early and are retained well on cut branches. It forms a conical tree, and the olive-green leaves have wavy margins. Z. (4)5-9
Ilex opaca 'Jersey Knight' (Male) - American Holly (Male)
One of the finest male American Hollies, discovered in the wild in central New Jersey. This dense, upright tree has outstanding dark green leaves. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Jersey Princess' - American Holly
The most winter hardy of Dr. Orton's American Holly selections, 'Jersey Princess' is also one of the most beautiful. The abundant red berries and dark, glossy foliage are a thrilling sight in the winter landscape. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Lacquerberry' - American Holly
A new introduction, with reportedly the largest berries ever seen on an American Holly. Fruit color is bright "Chinese red," and the leaf is medium green. Upright and relatively fast growing. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Maryland Dwarf' - Dwarf American Holly
An unusual selection growing, after many years, only about 3 feet high but spreading to 6 feet. For the first 10 years, we should note, 'Maryland Dwarf remains nearly prostrate while it spreads out. Greater height is developed as it matures. Large glossy leaves and red berries lend the usual cheery Holly effect. Noted plantsman Tom Dilatush selected this form from a large group of seedling hollies at a Maryland nursery. Z. 5-9
Plants currently have an 18-inch spread.
Ilex opaca 'Merry Christmas' - American Holly
Dark red berries and excellent foliage on this appropriately named American Holly. Compact and rapid growing. Originally discovered in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Paterson' - American Holly
'Paterson' grows with a narrow upright habit when young. Foliage is dense with a dark green color and distinctive texture. Bright, cherry-red berries will put everyone in a cheerful mood. Z. 5-9
Ilex opaca 'Portia Orton' - American Holly
This latest introduction from Dr. Elwin Orton of Rutgers University glows with broad black-green leaves with a shiny sheen. Large cherry-red fruits are borne in abundance. Z. 5-9