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Test Hollies Program

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The Test Holly Program, initiated in 1986, gets new cultivars into the hands of Holly Society members, who provide feedback on the plants’ performance in a variety of climates and growing conditions. Plants are evaluated for hardiness, bloom time, growth rate, soil requirements, site exposure, diseases, insect pests, and deer resistance.

For a PDF file of theTest Holly Program update for 2013 Interim Meeting click here...

For a PDF file list of hollies distributed at Annual Meetings since 1986, click here...
 

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Test Holly for 2014: Ilex pernyi x aquifolium 'Dragon Slayer'
This female hybrid holly originated in a controlled breeding program at the US National Arboretum and was selected in 1992 at the Hampton Roads Ornamental Research Station in Virginia. Mobjack Nurseries introduced and registered this cultivar (HSA 1-12), and has donated the plants for distribution. 'Dragon Slayer' grows into an conical small tree with oblong to quadrangular, spinose leaves and red fruit

Test Holly 2013
Test Holly for 2014
Ilex pernyi x aquifolium 'Dragon Slayer'
Photo: James F. Resch




 
 
 
Test Holly for 2013 (one of two)- Ilex 'Cherry Bomb'
'Cherry Bomb' is a nearly spineless holly with large red berries, the result of a controlled cross between Ilex 'Nellie R. Stevens' and Ilex integra made by William F. Kosar at the U.S. National Arboretum before 1960. The plant's originators designated it NA 28255, but never formally named or released it. However, a few trial plants were grown at public gardens and universities, mostly in the south, where the merits of this unusual hybrid gradually became apparent. The plant was introduced to the nursery trade in Texas as 'Cherry Bomb', and while it has become a popular landscaping plant there, its hardiness remains largely unknown.

Test Holly 2013
Test Holly for 2013
Ilex 'Cherry Bomb'
Photo: James F. Resch





 
 
 
Test Holly for 2013 (two of two): Ilex 'Dragon Claws'
‘Dragon Claws’ is an upright-growing female hybrid holly, a seedling of Ilex aquifolium x pernyi ‘Meschick’ Dragon LadyTM and Ilex cornuta x pernyi ‘John T. Morris’, developed by Jim Resch in Bear, Delaware. The plant bears oblong red fruit. The leaves and fruit of ‘Dragon Claws’ are somewhat larger than those of Dragon LadyTM, and its leaf spines are sharper and more pronounced.

Test Holly 2013
Test Holly for 2013
Ilex 'Dragon Claws'
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2013
Test Holly for 2012
Ilex 'Dragon Claws'
Photo: James F. Resch


 
Test Holly for 2012 - Ilex 'HL10-90' Christmas Jewel TM
Ilex 'HL10-90' Christmas Jewel TM is an open-pollinated seedling of an unnamed I. pernyi, discovered and selected by Robert, Lisa, and William Head in Seneca, SC in 1990. It forms an upright, dense pyramidal tree with narrow, dark green leaves and red fruit.

Test Holly 2012
Test Holly for 2012
Ilex 'HL10-90' Christmas Jewel TM
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2012
Test Holly for 2012
Ilex 'HL10-90' Christmas Jewel TM
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2012
Test Holly for 2012
Ilex 'HL10-90' Christmas Jewel TM
Photo: James F. Resch

 
 
Test Holly for 2011 - Ilex 'Dapat' Miss Patricia TM
This female holly is a cross of the glossy-leaved hybrid ‘Mary Nell’ with an unnamed male I. x aquipernyi. Miss Patricia TM retains many of the qualities of ‘Mary Nell’, maturing to an upright pyramid, but remains a much smaller plant with correspondingly smaller leaves and red fruit.

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2011
Ilex 'Dapat' Miss Patricia TM
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2011
Ilex 'Dapat' Miss Patricia TM
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2011
Ilex 'Dapat' Miss Patricia TM
Photo: James F. Resch


Test Holly for 2010 - Ilex aquifolium x cornuta ‘Sled Run’
This male holly arose as a putative hybrid seedling discovered by Jim Resch near Baltimore, MD in the late 1960s. The mature foliage of ‘Sled Run’ is distinctive for its broad, glossy leaves with nearly spineless margins. The plant produces abundant flowers over a long blooming period. Registered in 2010.

Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2010
Ilex aquifolium x cornuta ‘Sled Run’
Cutting and Rooted Cutting
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2010
Ilex aquifolium x cornuta ‘Sled Run’
With Flowers
Photo: James F. Resch
Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2010
Ilex aquifolium x cornuta ‘Sled Run’
With Snow
Photo: James F. Resch
Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2010
Ilex aquifolium x cornuta ‘Sled Run’
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly for 2009 (one of four) - Ilex cornuta x pernyi 'Hugger'
This male hybrid holly originated as a chance seedling, discovered by Charles Anderson in 2002 in his holly nursery in Owings Mills, Maryland. It is an excellent pollinator with very dark green foliage and an upright, pyramidal growth habit.

Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex cornuta x pernyi ‘Hugger’
Photo: Cathy Anderson

Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex cornuta x pernyi ‘Hugger’
Photo: Cathy Anderson
Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex cornuta x pernyi ‘Hugger’
Photo: Cathy Anderson

Test Holly for 2009 (two of four) - Ilex cornuta x ciliospinosa 'B51517'
This female holly is a cross of Ilex cornuta and I. ciliospinosa made by W. L Ackerman and J. L. Creech, but never formally named or introduced. The plant grows into an upright pyramid with glossy, quadrangular green leaves. It bears heavy clusters of red fruit on old wood.

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex cornuta x ciliospinosa 'B51517'
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex cornuta x ciliospinosa 'B51517'
Photo: James F. Resch


Test Holly for 2009 (three of four)- Ilex verticillata ‘Chickemmoo’
Polly Hill selected and named this cultivar of the native winterberry from a collection of seed on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. ‘Chickemmoo’ bears red fruit, and holds its color later in the season than many other winterberries.

Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex verticillata ‘Chickemmoo’
Photo: Tom Clark at Polly Hill Arboretum

Test Holly for 2009 (four of four)- Ilex x attenuata 'Bronze Beauty'
This plant was selected by Tom Dodd, Jr., and was introduced by the van der Giessen Nursery of Semmes, Alabama. The plant is similar to other Foster’s-type hollies, with an upright growth habit, but is expected to be smaller. Its distinctive feature is the bronze color of the new foliage. It is a female, but berries lightly.

Test Hollies
Test Holly for 2009
Ilex x attenuata 'Bronze Beauty'
Photo Maarten van der Giessen

Test Holly for 2008 (one of three)- Ilex serrata 'Longwood Firefall'
This red-berried shrub was obtained in Japan on a joint collecting trip by Longwood Gardens and the U.S. National Arboretum. It was selected for its semi-pendulous habit and small form, reaching about six feet at maturity.

Test Holly 2011

Test Holly for 2008
Ilex serrata 'Longwood Firefall'
Photo: Barrett Wilson at Longwood Gardens

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2008
Ilex serrata 'Longwood Firefall'
Photo: Barrett Wilson at Longwood Gardens



         
         
         
Test Holly for 2008 (two of three)- Ilex 'Baltimore Blaze'
This female hybrid holly was discovered and selected as a chance seedling by Bill Kuhl at McLean Nurseries outside Baltimore, Maryland. ‘Baltimore Blaze’ is noted for its exceptionally heavy production of large red berries.

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2008
Ilex 'Baltimore Blaze'
Photo: James F. Resch

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2008
Ilex 'Baltimore Blaze'
Photo: James F. Resch
Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2008
Ilex 'Baltimore Blaze'
Photo: James F. Resch

 
         
         
         
Test Holly for 2008 (three of three)- Ilex latifolia 'Leah Bates'
This is an open-pollinated I. latifolia seedling, selected by Tom Dodd Jr. and introduced by van der Giessen Nursery of Semmes, Alabama. ‘Leah Bates’ resembles other I. latifolia but matures at just ten feet, and bears heavy crops of red berries.

Test Holly 2011
Test Holly for 2008
Ilex latifolia 'Leah Bates'
Photo: Maarten van der Giessen





 


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