Ilex aquifolium 'J.C.van Tol'
English holly (Self-fertile female)
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
- Rate of growth: slow-growing
- Flowering period: May and June
- Hardiness: fully hardy
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This hardy native holly is unusual in that its glossy, dark green leaves are almost spineless. It is also self-fertile, and so does not need to be near a male holly to produce fruit. Instead, the bright red berries appear on dark purple stems in autumn and persist through the winter months, providing a rich source of food for birds. This holly makes a handsome evergreen specimen tree for a small garden with fertile, moist, well-drained soil.
- Garden care: Plants grown as free-standing specimens require minimal pruning - remove diseased or misplaced branches in spring. Trim plants grown as formal hedges in late summer. After pruning apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted compost or manure around the base of the plant.
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