About this cultivar:
Ilex aquifolium 'Handsworth New Silver' is a female, compact, dense evergreen tree or shrub with purple young shoots. Elliptic leaves and are broadly margined with white. Flowers small, white, followed by bright red berries. The epithet aquifolium translates as 'Thorny-leaved'. Val Bourne calls it "a dashing plant."
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil, grows well in Ballyrobert
- Flowers: May, June, July
- Other features: Grows well in Ballyrobert, Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM)
- Hardiness: Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
- Habit: Bushy
- Foliage: Evergreen
- Height: 120 - 720 cm (4 - 24 ft) (4 - 6 ft if pruned)
- Spread: 120 - 480 cm (4 - 16 ft) (4 - 6ft if pruned)
- Time to full growth: 10 to 20 years
- Plant type: Tree, shrub
- Colour: Green, yellow
- Goes well with: -
About this genus:
Ilex (i-leks) gets its name from the old Latin for and evergreen oak - it is commonly know as Holly - tra la la la la. A survivor from the last ice-age, Ilex is quite large genus, containing around 600 species of woody trees and shrubs. Hundreds of Ilex cultivars provide garden structure in the form of foundation shrubs or landscape trees, and colour from the brightly coloured winter berries or year-round foliage. Ilex is quite slow growing, but will get quite large eventually if you don't prune it. We prune ours very hard in order to make them bushier and kept them at a size we prefer.
Ilex prefers full sun, but will survive nearly as well in part sun. Although Ilex tolerates a wide range of environments and soil types, it prefers not to have wet feet, so well-drained soils are best. If berries are a must, always plant a male and a female. Many folk grow them as hedges but we prefer them as specimen plants on their own - they look fantastic all year round; remember an Ilex is not just for Christmas!