Holly III / Ilex

Ilex x meserveae ‘Blue Girl’ – This cultivar of Blue Holly (a cross of Ilex rugosa and Ilex aquifolium) is a good choice for colder regions where English Holly won’t grow. ‘Blue Girl’ features bright red berries and dark bluish-green foliage that turns a purple tint in winter. Use ‘Blue Boy’ as the male pollinator in order to set fruit. Grows 6 to 8′ high by 3 to 6′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.

Ilex verticillata ‘Golden Verboom’ (female) – A delightful Winterberry with bright yellow fruits or drupes that persist well into the winter. This deciduous holly makes a good cut for floral arrangements and was selected at Verboom Nursery in the Netherlands. It requires the ‘Golden Verboom’ male for pollination and tolerates wet soils. Grows 8′ high by 6′ wide. Z4.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Flavescens’ – Commonly known as the Moonlight Holly, this cultivar of English holly features very striking deep green foliage with irregular creamy yellow variegation or mottling, with the best variegation showing in full sun. The leaves are nicely contrasted by the bright red berries (requires a pollinator). Grows 15′ high by 10′ wide. Hardy to zone 6.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Ferox Aurea’ (syn. ‘Golden Hedgehog’) – This sterile male (not reliable for pollination) English holly features unusual foliage of deep green leaves with a central golden-yellow blotch. The foliage is very spiny, even on the top surface of the leaf and as such, it makes a good security hedge. This cultivar is slow growing. It reaches 15′ high by 10-12′ wide. Zone 6.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Handsworth New Silver’ – This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner features deep green foliage (on purple tinted stems) with contrasting bright white margins and makes an excellent cut for Christmas arrangements. It is a female cultivar with red berries and forms a dense evergreen shrub which can be trimmed to a smaller size. Grows 25′ high by 15′ wide. Zone 6.

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