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Noteworthy Holly News...

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October 24, 2017
Ilex x meserveae X Ilex opaca. Female, tree form, glossy English holly type leaves, purple stems, 7 years old, pushing 5 feet tall. Fully hardy in zone 6b. I anticipate zone 5 hardiness.

Holly Society of America


October 19, 2017

Ilex
x attenuata 'Longwood Gold' with Ilex verticillata 'Mary Jo' makes for a colorful combination in early Fall (Sue)

Holly Society of America

 

October 16, 2017
Looking for an id..... any thoughts?(mike)

Holly Society of America

It might not be a crenata...I have a species called "Ilex mutchagara" that may not actually exist any longer according to taxonomists - perhaps it is really Ilex maximowicziana, or something related. It is very upright, and put on two feet on its leaders this summer. Its leaves are more elongated than crenata, almost lanceolate. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

Isn't that a zone 8 plant? (mike)

Depends on who you read...the taxonomy of Ilex crenata-sorts including I. mutchagara, maximowicziana, and triflora is a tangled mess. You're right - those originating on Okinawa might be real Zone 8 plants; the one pictured here was claimed to be Zone 8 hardy (from Woodlander's Nursery in South Carolina) but has survived 0 degrees F. in my garden. Some of the best work on these species was done by S.-Y. Hu at least 50 years ago, and was updated in part by Theodore Dudley, but nothing is settled. Hu never thought they had much promise as landscape specimens; perhaps that explains their relative lack of attention in the literature. Even worse, most of the published literature distinguishes between these species referencing female flowers and fruit, while the only "mutchagara" plants I have been able to find in the U.S. are male. (Jim)

Jim, years ago I obtained cuttings from a plant of Mother's that she had gotten from Bart Bauers, Bart had identified the original plant, which he had growing in his collection and from which he had propagated the one he gave to Mother, as a female I. mutchagara. I ultimately planted out one of my rooted cuttings and it has thrived in a protected are of Zone 6 (with a maximum temperature drop of -25 degrees) ever since with no signs of heat stress or winter injury. I have no pollinator for it so it doesn't berry, even though it is definitely a female. My plant is now at least 20 years old and is interesting to me as it seems to have spread a bit, but not evasively, by root suckers. If you like, I can take photos of it for you. (Linda)

Would love to see photos, Linda! And of course, any from your holly collection!

Here is a closeup of the foliage on this "Ilex mutchagara"...this plant is nearly ten feet tall and only 4-5 years old. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

Where is it located? Do you know its provenance? If it's female, what color are the berries? How old and big is it? (I have something with similar foliage in my back yard, the original source of which was Bart Bauers.)

Where is this specimen growing? Any berries?

Nope! Never seen that man before. LOL!

October 15, 2017
Homefire’ is one of the Test Hollies to be distributed at this year’s Holly Society of America meeting in Mendenhall, PA (see http://www.hollysocam.org/meetings.htm for details). ‘Homefire’ is a hybrid of Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’ and I. latifolia, developed by the late Tom Dodd, Jr. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

Nice! Any idea of general mature size and hardiness?

All I know is from Bold Spring Nursery, which donated the rooted cuttings this spring. They say 25' tall x 15' wide, Zones 6-9, but I've only seen one plant, and that was in South Carolina. Here's a photo. (Jim)

Given its parentage, it would be interesting to see how it does at Dawes or Bernheim. Any recommendations as to what to use for a pollinator? It is definitely a nice looking plant. Linda

Good question! Other than a male cornuta or latifolia, maybe an aquifolium or a koehneana hybrid? Perhaps they're not picky. These little plants are blooming and fruiting heavily for me. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

I've always thought this was such a cool meeting perk. We have hollies in our garden that Joe Hickman received this way many years ago. Karen

This year we have two Test Hollies - the latifolia hybrid 'Elizabeth Coleman' in addition to 'Homefire'. And we are lining up two new Ilex cornuta selections for next year. (Jim)

 

October 12, 2017
Ilex fargesii x Ilex latifolia flowering and fruiting in our unseasonably mild autumn. This hybrid is over 5 feet tall at 5 years of age. This is its first year planted out. I am going to assume zone 6b hardiness. David O.

Holly Society of America


October 4, 2017

Sugeroku holly - an attractive, spineless species (I. sugerokii); hard to find but worth planting if you can get it. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

Jim, it's fantastic! What is its native habitat? How hardy is it? Do you need a male of the same species to serve as its pollinator? Is it commercially available anywhere?

I don't know of any commercial sources. This plant originated with a collection in Asia by Longwood Gardens in 1982; they propagated it and shared it with several other gardens, including the Morris Arboretum. My little plant came from Morris, which had propagated from their specimen. I should try propagating some myself. (Jim)


September 28, 2017
Ilex opaca
'Liberty Belle' will be available at the upcoming HSA Plant Sale and Auction. (Sue)

Holly Society of America


September 27, 2017
Ilex serrata
x verticillata 'Scarlett O'Hara' in her fancy rouge finery (photo by Frank) posted by Sue.

Holly Society of America


September 27, 2017

It might as well be spring - an ant enjoys the nectar from a few fall-blooming flowers of this male Chinese holly, Ilex cornuta 'CH-121'. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


September 26, 2017
Pick your color - our native Common Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) offers a range of fruit colors, all great in the landscape and enjoyed by wildlife. From left to right, these are 'Maryland Beauty', 'Cacapon', 'Winter Gold', and 'Golden Verboom'. (Jim)

Holly Society of America



September 21, 2017

Stunning natural stand of Ilex verticillata in Northern Indiana. A new selection in the future? Photos by Paul.

Holly Society of America


September 20, 2017
Who's your Daddy .......and your Mommy? This pretty little hybrid needs a name ! Submit your ideas at the HSA National Meeting this November. Winner takes home a rooted cutting of this exciting new introduction from McLeans Nursery. (Sue)

Holly Society of America


September 19, 2017
'Blue Angel' holly shows bright red color in the late summer garden. With a slow growth habit (this plant is just 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide in over 20 years), 'Blue Angel' is a nice choice for foundation planting. (Jim)

Jim could you comment about the hardiness. My reading says it is zone 7 yet I have grown it for many years without damage.

HI, David, I think it's generally a good plant in Zone 6, maybe with a little protection especially when young. Unlike 'Blue Prince' and 'Blue Princess', which are hardy down into at least Zone 5b, 'Blue Angel' is a second-generation Meserve holly, I. (aquifolium x rugosa) backcrossed to I. aquifolium. This limits its cold-hardiness but I suspect enhances its heat tolerance. Many of the first generation blue hollies suffer here in summer heat and full sun, but this particular 'Blue Angel' seems to thrive. (Jim)

 In zone 6a and now in my new location on zone 6b. David O.

They do get very large when left to their own devices. Ours at Bayard Cutting Arboretum are 7'H x 15'W. Michael R.

Mine was 8-9' tall by 8'wide in about 20 years , then I cut it down. Herbert R.

Holly Society of America


September 14, 2017
Ilex verticillata 'Winter Red' is always a showstopper ! (Sue)

Holly Society of America


September 12, 2017
All that rain was good for something - a baby Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea) hops among wet leaves of this Winter Bounty holly ('H635-13'). (Jim)

Holly Society of America


September 11, 2017
'Red Sprite' is a nice semi-dwarf selection of our native winterberry. Ilex verticillata. Although it's at its best in full sun, the berries color up early and really brighten up this area in partial shade. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


September 3, 2017
Ready for fall? Early color developing in the fruits of this 'Carolina Cone' holly has us thinking of falling leaves and pumpkin-spiced lattes. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


August 31, 2017
Beautiful golden foliage of Ilex 'Butter Cup'. Long Island

Holly Society of America


August 24, 2017
Miss the eclipse? 'Solar Flare' provides a year-round show, and you can stare as long as you want without special glasses. (Jim)

It's a branch sport of Oakland ('Magland') holly - slow growing but with really stunning color in the new growth. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


August 22, 2017
A nod to Tom Dodd, Jr. - Test Hollies for 2017 will be two Ilex latifolia hybrids selected by the late Tom Dodd, Jr. These are 'Homefire' (I. cornuta 'Burfordii' x I. latifolia) and 'Elizabeth Coleman' (I. latifolia x ?). Attendees at the Holly Society's annual meeting this November will get a chance to trial these in their own gardens. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


August 18, 2017
We like 'Spike', a new hybrid developed by Bill Kuhl at McLean Nurseries. The new growth on this holly is as eye-catching as a maroon flower in the summer garden. (Jim)

Update - I just spoke with Bill and he says the plant is female, with a good crop of fruit this year for such a young plant. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


August 12, 2017
Little Ilex on the Prairie - this 'Bear Crossing' American holly (originally from Zone 7 in Delaware) grows in Zone 5b in Newton, Illinois. It has survived winters to 25 below zero F with no surrounding trees whatsoever to shelter it from winter winds. Surprisingly, it still holds much of last year's fruit while setting this year's crop. Evidently, there are no flocks of hungry robins to eat all that fruit. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


August 9, 2017
Nothing like Holly Blossom Honey (Sue)

Holly Society of America

 

August 2, 2017
A sampling of my 2017 germinations. Top row Ilex pernyi X I. ciliospinosa. Middle row Ilex colchica X open pollinated. Bottom row left to right Ilex fargesii X I. latifolia; I. x meserveae 'Golden Girl' X I. latifolia; I. x meserveae X I. ciliospinosa. David O.

David, I love the looks of your hybrids! It's amazing the diversity you've tapped in these seedlings. I have some open-pollinated pernyi hybrids that have elongated leaves like yours, though they seem a bit more quadrangular. Time will tell. I've been keeping about a dozen hybrid seedlings each year, but it's so easy to run out of room! Now that a bunch of mine are a foot or two tall, I'll bring them to the Holly Society meeting's plant sale this fall, and see if anyone else has room to grow them on. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

 

May 25, 2017
Lush new growth on Ilex opaca 'Maryland Dwarf ' and 'Miss Helen' (Sue)

Mine are in full bloom. I'm worried about pollination because it's been cold and wet so long. (Paul)

And for me in Delaware, the opacas are just about finished, while the verticillatas and crenatas are beginning. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


May 17, 2017
I wish you could smell this - American Holly 'Satyr Hill' in full bloom has an amazing scent. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

 

May 6, 2017
One of my favorite American Hollies to grow is Ilex opaca 'Bear Crossing', a selection made in Bear, Delaware by an HSA member. (Sue)

Holly Society of America

 

May 4, 2017
This Ilex koehneana is a sport from Ilex koehneana 'Wirt Winn'. It is very compact and dense, foliage and internodes much smaller and shorter. At 20 years of age and only 8' tall, it is proving to be a future introduction. (Sue)

Holly Society of America

 

April 27, 2017
Flower power - abundant flowers cluster along the stem of this Yule Brite holly (Ilex x koehneana 'Conayule') (Jim)

 I think 'Yule Bright' is the one that colors up more quickly, right? (Paul)

Yes, that has been my experience. Mine develops red color earlier than my other koehneana hollies 'Lassie', 'San Jose', 'Martha Berry', or 'Hohman'. I think this could be a really pretty plant, but mine has gotten beaten up over the years by maple roots, falling limbs, and the neighbor's children. Still it hangs on! (Jim)

My Koehnes are blooming up a storm this year! This is 'Lassie'. If they can have an early spring with warm temps so bees can do their work, most of these berries should mature on schedule and should color up easily this fall. Bees seem to start moving in the mid-60s. (David)

Holly Society of America

 

April 20, 2017
Nice berry set on this I 'Baltimore Blaze".

What is the hybrid makeup of this one? (David)

Parentage has not been accurately determined, but possible contributors could be Ilex cornuta, Ilex pernyi and possibly Ilex x koehneana. (Jim)

 Mine's not quite in bloom. Does it set unfertilized? (Paul)

I believe it does, but it is not a strong set without a pollinator. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

 

April 20, 2017
Landscape ready - these Robin (TM) hollies (Ilex 'Conin') are ready to go out for spring planting in Millville, Delaware. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

 

April 16, 2017
Glowing in the twilight - this Buttercup holly (Ilex cornuta x aquifolium 'Hefcup'), a sport of 'Nellie R. Stevens', looks equally great in full midday sun and at dusk. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

 

April 13, 2017
Not quite there - the colorful flower buds on this hybrid holly 'Virginia' will open in just a day or two. (Jim)

X aquipernyi hybrid? (Michael)

...sister seedling to the National Arboretum's 'Scepter', which is more widely available. (Jim)

Interesting, the leaf looks small for a cross of those two plants. You say scepter is available ? I have had trouble sourcing it. (Michael)

Here in Northern Virginia, we can't find 'Scepter' locally, but we have one nursery that always carries 'Virginia'....from 5 gallon size to huge balled and burlaped. I have two of them now!
(David)

Holly Society of America

 

April 10, 2017
Ilex
x koehneana 'Wirt L.Winn' make a nice screen with Cryptomeria japonica 'Yoshino' in the background. (Sue)

Holly Society of America

 

April 9, 2017
Ilex opaca in the natural landscape. In awe of these plants. Despite growing in soils devoid of nitrogen and organic matter, and constant exposure to salt spray, they thrive. Providing food and shelter to native fauna as well as a spectacular display of color for our enjoyment.
 — in Davis Park, New York.

Holly Society of America

 

April 5, 2017
These rooted cuttings of 'Homefire' holly (Ilex latifolia x cornuta) are the generous gift to the Holly Society from Bold Spring Nursery. They will be grown on and distributed to members at our annual meeting in October as part of our Test Holly program. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

March 28, 2017
March madness - after record high temperatures throughout February and up to March 1st, the weather turned unseasonably cold, and repeated overnight lows in the teens have destroyed many holly flower buds. This one is the Chinese holly 'CH-121'. The plants should be fine, but this may be a lean year for fruiting here in Delaware. (Jim)

Michael: Jim, what is the history of 'ch-121' ? I have a former Holly society member who wants to donate one to the arboretum.

Hi, Mike. 'CH-121' may soon be named and registered by Bill Kuhl at McLean Nurseries, but until then, it has only been sold under the 'CH-121' name. Here's what I have on it in Beyond Galle: "In 1985, the Holly Society of America along with the US National Arboretum helped fund a plant exploration trip to South Korea, and as a result Willard T. Witte of the Univ. of Tennessee received small seedlings of I. cornuta collected in Korea (see Holly Society Journal 6(1): 11-14 (1988)). In October 1986 at the Holly Society Annual Meeting in Knoxville, TN, Witte distributed rooted cuttings of the one lot shipped to him as small seedlings; these were numbered CH-1 to CH-129. (see Holly Society Journal 19(1): 11-15 (2001). William Kuhl received plant labeled CH-121. Particularly handsome foliage; has won 1st place in holly sprig contests. Upright pyramidal growth habit, deep olive green glossy leaves. Immature foliage with one spine per side, forward facing, 2-3 mm., and an apical spine, also 2-3 mm., which is strongly reflexed. Apices acute to acuminate on juvenile foliage; marginal spines project farther from the stem than the apices. Mature foliage broadly oval with margins entire; apices acuminate with an apical spine, 2-3 mm. All spines are quite sharp. Intermediate form leaves occur along stems between immature and mature foliage; these have a spine on one marginal side with the other entire. Leaf bases rounded. Heavy flowering, very fragrant, early in season. Some late spring flowers are perfect, i.e. with a small pistil as well as stamens. These may produce small, misshapen fruit. Often produces some flowers in autumn." (Jim)

Holly Society of America


March 27, 2017
Almost open - the flower buds on this male Yaupon holly growing near the ocean in Wrightsville Beach, NC will be open in just a few days. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


March 25, 2017
A weeping form of Ilex opaca. The wood is weak and it lost 3 feet of its leader last winter.
A male open pollinated seedling of Merry Christmas. (David O)

Holly Society of America

March 22, 2017
More flowers! These 'Elizabeth Coleman' cuttings, rooted indoors over the winter,
are definitely pushing the season. (Jim)

Paul: I think that one has more potential hardiness than some. The cuttings look great!

I think so too, Paul. It's never been tested widely, but in my limited experience it takes zero degrees and wind much better than some other hybrids. I hope to have a few plants in time for the national meeting this fall. (Jim)

Holly Society of America

March 20, 2017
Yes, it's blooming! On the first day of spring, this Chinese holly seedling began blooming in the warmth of the cold frame. (Jim)

Holly Society of America


March 19, 2017
Ilex x attenuata 'Savannah', is a selected cultivar of a hybrid cross between Ilex cassine and Ilex opaca. This variety has broader leaves than most x attenuata varieties, but it has paper thin leaves, and as you can see abundant red berries. Holly Society of America: Long Island

Holly Society of America

 

February 23, 2017
We are Pushing the envelope at Bayard Cutting Arboretum, we recently purchased an assortment of hollies from Woodlanders, camellia forest, and nurseries caroliniana. Most are hardy to zone 7 but we are experimenting with some zone 8 plants in protected areas. Including Ilex paraguariensis(pictured below) or Yerba mate a Holly native to South America and is used to make a caffeinated beverage called Mate. Holly Society of America: Long Island

Holly Society of America

 

February 23, 2017
We are Pushing the envelope at Bayard Cutting Arboretum, we recently purchased an assortment of hollies from Woodlanders, camellia forest, and nurseries caroliniana. Most are hardy to zone 7 but we are experimenting with some zone 8 plants in protected areas. Including Ilex paraguariensis(pictured below) or Yerba mate a Holly native to South America and is used to make a caffeinated beverage called Mate. Holly Society of America: Long Island

Holly Society of America



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