Ilex opaca ‘Sir Landon’
Members of the Holly Society have chosen ‘Sir Landon’, a male selection of the American holly, Ilex opaca, as the Holly of the Year for 2023. This holly originated as a chance seedling around 1998 at Patuxent Valley Nurseries in Highland, Maryland, where it was discovered by proprietor Daniel C. Turner. Impressed with the plant’s especially large, dark green leaves, Mr. Turner selected and named the tree after his grandson, Landon Southard in 2010. This new selection, ‘Sir Landon’, was registered with the Holly Society in 2011 (Holly Society Journal 29(2): 23 (2011)).
‘Sir Landon’ will grow 1-2 feet a year, maturing into a dense, conical evergreen tree, and it considered one of the most attractive male American hollies currently available in the trade. It bears abundant staminate flowers, and thus helps to ensure pollination of nearby female trees. ‘Sir Landon’ thrives in any reasonably well-drained garden soil, in full sun or partial shade. It can be used as a specimen tree or as part of a tall hedge or screen. As is typical for our native American hollies, it is expected to be hardy from Zones 9 down to 5b.
Photos: Sue Hunter
HSA Past President Dan Turner and his grandson Landon,
who the Holly is named for.