Ilex opaca – American Hollies

The aristocrat of evergreens, this very deer resistant holly has been overshadowed in recent years, although the popularity of the plant remains strong. This pyramidal tree keeps its vibrant fruit through the winter when the red of the berries contrasts against the green foliage and is a striking specimen all year. Most become stately, handsome trees over time. To set fruit, a male pollinator is needed. They grow well in full sun or partial shade. Cultivars listed are hardy to Zone 5 unless otherwise indicated. Standard sizes for shipping are one quart ( 6″ to 12 ” plants), one gallon ( 12″ to 18″ plants), and two-gallon (18″ to 24″ plants) containers.

Best Cultivars for Eastern United States
I. New England – Zone 4B to 6A
Any Pride variety, Old Heavy Berry, Satyr Hill, Merry Christmas
II. Pennsylvania, New York, Interior New Jersey – Zone 4B to 5B
Any Pride variety, Satyr Hill, Cave Hills
III Southern New York, Long Island, New Jersey – Zone 5 to 6A
Any listed cultivar. Most familiar: Satyr Hill, Old Heavy Berry, Dan Fenton, Miss Helen
IV. Mid Atlantic, South, Missouri, and Tennessee – Zone 5A and up
Any listed cultivar
V. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky – Zone 4B to 5B
Any Pride variety, Old Heavy Berry, Satyr Hill

Red-berried female varieties:

Has a more narrow stance than other opaca varieties with lighter red fruit, medium green leaf color and size. Matures at 30′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Cave Hill #2
Clean, flat, oblong glossy leaf. Good quality plant, cardinal red fruit, ideal for orcharding (cut branches). Matures at 40′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Chief Paduke
Extremely large, elongated, tough almost spineless leaves with large clusters of oblong red fruit. Scarce in the nursery trade. Thought by some to be an actual cross with Ilex decidua. Matures at 30′
Available Fall 2011

Dan Fenton
Developed at Rutgers University. Oval leaves are glossy black-green, off-set by dark red globe fruit. Narrow grower. Matures at 30′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

As the name implies, this plant can be used as an impressive hedge. A very hardy plant with smaller leaf and carmine red fruit. Matures at 25′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal . $30.00

Good dark green leaf with the largest berry of the species, Chinese red fruit. Reliable grower and fruiter. Matures at 30′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Maryland Dwarf
Low spreading plant, to 6′. Shy fruiter. Grows to 2′ tall.
Available Fall 2011

Merry Christmas
A rapid grower with hardy bright red fruit. Good landscape specimen. Matures at 40′.
Qt. – $10.00 Larger sizes available Fall 2011

Miss Courtney
This recently registered opaca is a lovely plant and a very fast grower, averaging 12″ to 15″ growth annually. Dark red fruit. Matures at 40′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Miss Helen
Old reliable variety, slower growing opaca with oblong cherry fruit. Good orcharding plant (for cut branches). Adapts well in both northern and southern climes. Matures at 40′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Old Heavy Berry
The name says it all! dark leaves and very winter hardy. A first rate plant and an industry standard for years. Matures at 30′.
Qt. – $12.00 (No other sizes available now)

Narrow grower with bright red fruit and smallish leaf, medium green in color. Matures at 35′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00

Satyr Hill
Move over, “Old Heavy Berry” . . .Has a tortoise-shell leaf and large orange-red fruit, open grower. An eastern U.S. favorite. Matures at 35′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

Fast growing, narrow pyramidal shape. Shiny leaves and red berries. grows well in a container at early age. Matures at 25′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Yellow-berried female varieties:
Most yellow-fruited varieties have difficulty thriving in Zone 5A and should be protected in winter. Unless otherwise noted, plants are best suited for Zones 5B and 6.

Leathery light green leaves with clear yellow fruit. Matures at 25′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

Longwood Gardens
A Longwood Gardens introduction, this handsome plant produces bright yellow fruit. Matures at 25′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00

Strong conical grower with grapefruit-colored berries. Matures at 35′.
Qt. – $10.00 Gal. – $20.00 2-Gal. – $30.00

Winter Sun ®
A Holly Ridge introduction into the opaca. An unusual berry color of bright orange/yellow into peach. Grows in part shade. Matures at 20′.
Qt. – $15.00 Gal. – $30.00

Orlando Pride opacas

These seedlings were chosen by Oralndo Pride in the 1930’s for their vigor, orange-red to red fruit, and extreme cold tolerance to -30 degrees F. These are the most hardy Americans available! Zone 4 possibilities with site selection /placement and mulch protection.

Arlene Leach
True American Holly look with dark leaves and large red fruit. Matures at 40′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

A rapid, dense grower with deep green leaves and large red fruit. A Holly Ridge favorite. Matures at 40′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal – $35.00

Mary Holman
Grand- dame of the holly world, with nice spring green leaf and round matte red fruit. Matures at 30′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

Pride of Butler
You don’t put your name and city –Butler, PA–if you don’t like it. Similar to “Arlene Leach.” Matures at 35′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

Red Flush
Very heavy red fruiter and Midwest hardy. Matures at 35′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00

Arthur Pride and David Leach
Strong male pollinators for all opacas. Make especially good companion plants for Pride females. Matures at 35′.
Qt. – $12.00 Gal. – $25.00 2-Gal. – $35.00

Other Species of Hollies

Ilex aquifolium – English Holly
Largely grown of both coasts, this shiny spiny leafed holly is more adjusted to Zone 6 (above 0 deg. F) locations, bud will tolerate Zone 5 if protected. Male pollinator is ‘Blue Prince or Blue Stallion’.

Albo – Marginata – variegated with white to yellow margins. New growth is often pink. Female, but light fruiter. Great for cut branches and wreaths.
Qt. -$10. (6 to 8″ wide)

Ferox – Olive colored leaf with many small spines with white variegation Compact, globe grower which grows to only 2′ high by 3-4′ wide.
Qt. – $10. (only 4-6″)

Ilex crenata – Japanese Holly
This plant has largely replaced boxwood in Zone 5 due to hardiness issues (on most globe types_, but is still a handsome garden plant, especially in dry conditions.
Sky Pencil – Extremely narrow (5 to 1′ ratio), fast grower that is often used in narrow walkways or to hide downspouts, electic boxes, etc.
Qt. – $8. Gal. – $15.

Snowflake – Variegated white margins on this small growing globed plant. Definitely Zone 6.
Qt. – $10.

Ilex glabra – Inkberry
Small, globe shaped evergreen holly with flat elongated, serrated leaves. Adapts well to shade and heavy soils. Very Hardy. Grows to 4-5′ wide and 6-8′ high. Will often loose bottom foliage which can be rejuvenated by interior pruning. Good to Zone 5. Fruit if any is black.

Compacta – Improved strain remains dense at early age with dark green leaves.
Qt. – $7. Gal. – $12.

Nordic ® – Graceful mounding plant which needs little attention. Will grow into Zone 4.
Qt. $7. Gal. -$12.

Shamrock – A somewhat slower growing variant with a smaller leaf than the above varieties. Very Hardy.
Qt. – $7. Gal. – $12.

Ilex koehneana – Fast growing (even for hollies) handsome plant. Leaves are very dark green, large (to 4″), with serrated edges. Fruit is in dark red bunches.

Lassie – fine example of the species.
Qt. – $8. Gal. -$15.

Holman – very similar to Lassie, but more open.
Qt. – $8. Gal. – $15.

Ilex x. meservae – Blue Hollies
The evolution of this plant over the last dtwenty years marks it as the most popular of all hollies on the market today. This versatile shrub grows to at least six rounded feet with dark blue-green leaves. This plant must have well-drained soil as it is prone to root rot in heavy soils. CAUTION: DEER GREATLY ENJOY THIS PLANT ALL YEAR ROUND!!!

Blue Prince – Pollinator for ‘Blue Princess. More cold tolerant than earlier varieties.
Qt. – $6. Gal. $10.

Blue Princess
A vigorous grower with clusters of bright red fruit, contrasted nicely against dark blue-green foliage. Will grow to 8′ x 8′.
qt. -$6 Gal. – $10.

Blue Maid – The most hardy of all the blue hollies. It has a lighter green foliage than the other blues with nice cherry red fruit. Its pollinator is either Blue Prince or Blue Stallion.
qt – $6. Gal. – $10.

Dragon Lady – Beware of my very sharp claws but embrace my narrow pyramidal shape and dark red fruit. Really, I won’t bite. I also need the male boy toys.
Qt. – $6. Gal. -$10.

Blue Stallion – What weaklings! I grow to a conical 20′ and can take care of the ladies. I’m a bargain at any price, if I say so myself.
Qt. – $6 gal. – $10.

Ilex pedunculosa – Unusual and not readily avialable, this hardy upright evergreen has ficus-like leaves and cherry red drupes. It loves the shade and protected (out of wind) sites. Needs both sexes to produce fruit since no other Ilex is blooming at this time.
Qt. – $10 Gal. – $18

Ilex Verticillata – Winterberry Holly, Michigan Holly, Swamp Holly
These deciduous hollies are best known for their attractive fruit which colors by October 1 and lasts through January ( until the cedar wax-wings or robins gobble them up – wild turkeys too!). Grown in the trade for cut florist stems at the holidays. Great Eastern native restoration plant. Thrives in moist ,heavy, wet, awful soils but must have a good amount of sun.
Apollo – Male pollinator for Sparkleberry, Winter Red, and Winter Gold.
Aurantiaca – Early bearer of golden orange fruit. Good until Thanksgiving then drops its fruit. Jim Dandy pollinates.
Bonfire – Clusters of brilliant smaller red fruit gives this plant an almost Oriental appearance.
Jim Dandy – Male pollinator for Aurantiaca and Red Sprite.
Oosterwijk – An introduction from Holland with long staight stems, excellent for flower arrangements. Jim Dandy pollinates.
Red Sprite – True dwarf with handsome compact form and large red fruit. Jim Dandy pollinates.

An upright vigorous grower with spectacular, smaller carmine red fruit. The best plant for floral sprigs. Apollo or Southern Gentleman will pollinate.
Southern Gentleman – Late male pollinator good for Winter Red, Winter Gold, or Sparkleberry.
Winter Red
Has become the industry standard. Matures at 12′ with tons of cherry red fruit. Always dependable.

Winter Gold
A chance sport (mutation) off of Winter Red. It really depends on the soil make-up for color but most often will have an orange to gold finish sometimes with a pink blush. Apollo or Southern Gentleman pollinates

All the above are priced the same:
Qt. – $7. Gal. – $10
One male is good for 5 females and should be planted within visual range for best fruit set.