Ilex aquifolium 'J.C. van Tol'

English holly (self-fertile female)

5 5 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star 1 star (6 reviews) Write review
2 litre pot £26.99
available to order from late summer
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Ilex aquifolium 'J.C. van Tol' English holly (self-fertile female): A great tree holly with bright berries

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: moist, well-drained, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil
  • Rate of growth: slow-growing
  • Flowering period: May to June
  • Hardiness: fully hardy

    To find out more about how to plant a hedge, click here.

    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.

Delivery options

  • Standard
Delivery information

Eventual height & spread

Eventual height and spread
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Share by email



Planting alongside shed Tomorrow. Excellent packaging and very healthy plant and complete with berries!




Lovely self fertile holly tree


Used at back of garden as a source for Christmas decoration in the long term




Excellent choice


Bought this for my daughter last Christmas and she is delighted with it. It has thrived in a large pot in her back yard, is healthy and has plenty of berries. Very attractive.




Large red berries


The holy arrived in excellent condition and well packaged. It came with plenty of green berries that turned red quickly. Most of the berries were eaten by the birds, which was the whole point of the bush. Still looks to be doing well even after two coverings of snow and a couple of very cold nights. I've planted my holly in a container and when it warms up I will put it on the watering system as I did last year. Extremely pleased with the quality of this plant




All the plants and shrubs I have ever bought from Crocus 100


Excellent service,packing,excellent.bought nearly all of my shrubs and plants from Crocus over the last few years,never had a complaint about anything.Healthy colourful ,including annuals.Well done Crocus have recommended you to family and friends.

Busy lizie



I good slow growing evergreen for shade


A good slow growing evergreen for a shady space.





4.8 6


I understand that JC Van Tol is self-fertile but I wonder whether it would also act as a pollinator for other nearby female hollies so that they bear fruit? I can't seem to find an answer online (regarding hollies, or other self-fertile trees such as some apples). Can self-fertile holly specimens also fertilise other nearby female holly trees? Thank you


Yes, a self-fertile Ilex aquifolium such as 'J.C. van Tol' should pollinate another female Ilex aquifolium, however as they produce less pollen than a male cultivar, they may not be as efficient.


I want to plant this holly in the spot where a nandina domestica has been removed. It had only been planted a year ago and seemed to be suffering from a virus the uppermost leaves were brittle and curling and it had not put on any growth and none on the roots either despite regular watering last summer. What I need to know is if I plant this ilex in the same spot is it likely to succumb to the same virus. Should I not plant anything there or should I leave the ilex in a pot in that spot until next year


Hello, Viruses are usually spread by sap-sucking insects such as aphids and are usually systemic, so I would say that the chances would be slim for an ilex to be affected if planted in the same spot.


Does this ilex suffer from any common pests and diseases?


Hello, Like most plants, the young shoots may be attacked by aphids, leaf miners and scale insects.


Is this a standard tree


Hello there No this plant is supplied as an unclipped bush.

can i grow this in a container as i only have a 'concrete' garden?


Hello, These tend to do very well in large containers for several years if they are kept well fed and watered, however they do want to get pretty big eventually, so in time it may run out of steam if not planted out.


What size container does this need? I have potted it in a 27cm pot but I am concerned this isn't big enough. Should I repot straight away or wait til next spring?


Hello there It will probably be ok for a short time in this sized pot, but it isn't very large so it could get blown over easily and dry out quickly. I would plant it up into a larger container, something like a 35-40cm diameter pot. Hope this helps

When can a holly tree be transplanted


Hello, The best time to transplant them is when they are dormant - so any time between late autumn and late winter.


As you do not show the folliage could use please tell me if this is the silver or gold variety.


Hello there This holly has dark green glossy leaves that are almost spineless. Hope this helps.

Please could you let me know the size of this plant? I am hoping it will grow to be a screen to stop us looking directly into our neighbours kitchen window and am hoping for as tall a plant as possible. Thanks


Hello, This plant is currently sold in a 2 litre pot and it will be approximately 30cm tall, so it will take a few years to get large enough to create a decent screen. I hope this helps,


Holly Trees varieties? Dear Crocus Hope you all had a good Christmas, -after reading an article in the newspaper recently regarding holly trees we have decided to buy a couple, - it recommended a Ilex 'Golden King' and 'Silver Princess'. Is there something you supply that is similar with a combination of tree that would produce berries on the male plant? We do have a holly "bush" which has no berries so we would like to add some colour to the garden at this time of the year. We would rather buy our plants/trees etc from you as those we bought this year have been excellent. Best Wishes Gill

Gillian Brady

Hello Gill, We do sell the 'Golden King', and a self-fertile variety called 'J C van Tol' - just click on the following link to go straight to them:- It is only the female hollies that produce the berries, but the Golden King will need a male pollinating partner nearby to produce a good crop. If your existing holly has never produced any berries, then I suspect it may be a male, which would do the trick. All of them can be trained to form either a small tree or large shrub. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor

Crocus Helpdesk

How to create a wildlife-friendly garden

Wildlife-friendly gardens are not only more interesting as you can watch all the comings and goings, but they are often more productive as many creatures will help increase pollination. Garden ponds act as a magnet to dragonflies and damsel flies, along w

Read full article

August pruning of trees, shrubs and climbers

Late summer is the best time to prune many midsummer-flowering shrubs to keep them vigorous and flowering well. It is also the ideal time to prune several trees that are prone to bleeding if pruned at other times, and it’s not too late to complete the pru

Read full article

Planting a hedge

Hedges by their very nature are often planted in exposed positions, so the secret of successful establishment is to make sure that they are well protected from prevailing winds for the first few years. Carefully planting and covering the surface of the so

Read full article

Holly - a must for winter berries

The holly is an iconic plant that likes to share the forest floor with the mighty oak, so this slow-grower prefers good drainage. Our prickly native form, Ilex aquifolium, takes its species name from Aquila the eagle indicating the talon-like sharpness of

Read full article

The King of evergreens

The holly reigns supreme in winter, but there are decisions to be made. If you want berries you can’t close clip and topiarise because you’ll cut away the flowers. You have to allow your to flourish on its own, with just a yearly spring trim, in order to

Read full article

Plants birds love in the winter garden

As frost descends and the leaves gather on the lawn, the most important colour is red because it glows against the backdrop of fading stems in muddy shades of khaki, grey and brown. Red’s the colour that fixes the rest of the palette and luckily red berri

Read full article