Ornamental berry Holly

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Holly, in Latin Ilex, belonging to the family Aquifoliaceae, is famous for its diverse-coloured berry-shaped fruits in winter, and even in autumn. In this small tree or bush, certain varieties offer particularly decorative fruiting, especially during the Christmas period. A number of holly plants are dioecious, such as Ilex aquifolium (common holly) and Meserve Holly (Ilex x meservae): as there are female and male plants, both sexes must be planted to have fruits. However, some are self-fertile, like Ilex aquifolium 'Pyramidalis'. In this case, one plant is enough to enjoy a beautiful fruiting. In common holly, certain female varieties like Ilex aquifolium 'JC Van Tol' are known for their abundant fruiting. Ilex x meservae represents a group of hybrids from the USA, known for their hardiness and the beauty of their fruits, like the variety 'Blue Princess'. Generally red, holly berries can also turn bright orange, for example in Whorled Holly or Ilex verticillata female 'Magical Daydream'. Use tall holly plants for informal hedges, alongside evergreen or deciduous shrubs. Thanks to its evergreen fruits during winter, holly is a precious species for certain birds that feed on them, like blackbirds and thrushes. The fruits are so cheerful during the gloomy and short days of winter, and even more so on a snow-covered landscape.

 

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