Herb: Holly

Latin name: Ilex x altaclerensis

Family: Aquifoliaceae (Holly Family)

Description of the plant:


4 m
(13 feet)

Habitat of Holly:

Not known in the wild.

Other uses of the herb:

Makes a good windbreak hedge, succeeding even in exposed maritime areas, though it is slow growing. The vars. "Hendersonii" (f), "Hodginsii" (m) and "Maderensis" (m) are especially noted.

Propagation of Holly:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can take 18 months to germinate. Stored seed generally requires two winters and a summer before it will germinate and should be sown as soon as possible in a cold frame. Scarification, followed by a warm stratification and then a cold stratification may speed up the germination time. The seedlings are rather slow-growing. Pot them up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame for their first year. It is possible to plant them out into a nursery bed in late spring of the following year, but they should not be left here for more than two years since they do not like being transplanted. Alternatively, grow them on in their pots for a second season and then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Give them a good mulch and some protection for their first winter outdoors. This is a hybrid species so any seedlings will not be true to type. Cuttings of almost ripe wood with a heel, August in a shaded position in a cold frame. Leave for 12 months before potting up. Layering in October. Takes 2 years.

Cultivation of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Medicinal use of Holly:

None known

Known hazards of Ilex x altaclerensis:

Although no specific reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, the fruits of at least some members of this genus contain saponins and are slightly toxic. They can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and stupor if eaten in quantity. The fruit is poisonous.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.