Ilex is the latin name for the genus of plants we often refer to as hollies.  This is an interesting and diverse group of plants, that includes evergreen and deciduous plants, that form small shrubs, tall trees, and everything in between – depending on the Ilex species or cultivar grown.

Ilex are native plants of the United Kingdom, Europe, the Mediterranean, the Americas, China, North America, South East Asia, and other areas around the globe.

Ilex crenata (Fastigiata Group) ‘Fastigiata’ is a slow growing Japanese holly, with a naturally upright, columnar habit, that grows to 3 – 5 meters (10 – 16ft) tall.

Ilex crenata (Fastigiata Group) ‘Fastigiata’ is an evergreen holly, that features small, dark green, glossy leaves and produces tiny black berries. 

Ilex crenata (Fastigiata Group) ‘Fastigiata’ can be used as an alternative to Box, as it has a similar growth habit with tiny leaves that gives a similar look to Buxus. 

Ilex crenata is a holly, but it’s so different to the more widely known holly tree which has much larger leaves, like other hollies, Ilex crenata is a slow growing evergreen shrub.  Ilex crenata has tiny leaves, the shrub creates a naturally dense form, which is suited to dwarf hedging – this plant’s common name is the Box leaf holly, as Ilex crenata is one of many plants that can be used as a replacement for box hedging.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata Pendula’ is a female holly, with beautiful, glossy, dark green, spiny leaves, which feature a beautiful cream variegation to their leaf margins.  If there’s a male holly nearby, this cultivar produces red berries in autumn and winter.  Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata Pendula’ is a slow growing holly, it forms a small tree or a large shrub with an attractive weeping habit that’s not usually seen in hollies.

Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ is a female, evergreen holly, that produces orange-red berries in autumn and winter time.