Our native British Holly is also a very robust and useful garden plant, producing red berries and being ideal as tough, animal (and burglar!) proof hedging. Alaska is an upright and narrow variety with unusual shaped, glossy spiny leaves deep green in colour. This compact tree bears tiny white flowers in summer, followed by prolific and vivid red berries in autumn.
Ilex aquifolium is ideal for cultivation as a small, round-headed tree or it can be regularly clipped hard as a dense shrub. It is also a superb choice for planting as a medium-sized or tall hedge. The female form will set masses of red berries if pollinated by a male form. A useful plant to have in the garden, both for feeding the winter thrushes and for cropping for Christmas foliage ... absolutely ideal for making Christmas wreathes and swags. It is also a good choice for coastal areas as the shiny leaves resist the salt.
Common Name: Common Holly, English Holly
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Height and Spread: 800cm x 300cm (can be hard pruned)
Preferred Soil Type: Fertile, humus-rich soil; thrives in limey, chalky soils
Aspect: Any aspect
Flowering Period: Tiny white blooms in May