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Ilex crenata 'Green Hedger'

Ilex crenata 'Green Hedger'



About this cultivar:

Ilex crenata 'Green Hedger' is a faster (but not fast!) growing crenata cultivar making it more preferable for shaping or hedging. Often used as a box (buxus) alternative.

The species name is in reference to the crenate (round-toothed or scalloped) edges of the leaves. The species is commonly known as Japanese holly or box-leaved holly. Normally a dense, multi-branched, evergreen shrub with a rounded form native to forests, thickets and mountain slopes in Japan, Korea, China and eastern Russia. It is noted for its ovate to elliptic, crenate to serrulate, glossy, spineless, evergreen, deep green leaves which are attractive all year. In late spring you get white flowers and in autumn, whoa, Black Berries (Bam-ba-lam)....

Most cultivars of the species are more compact than the species. A bit like box (buxus) they are often used for topiary or hedging, but also look great if left alone. Like this one, 'Green Hedger', the RHS gave it their Award of Garden Merit.

  • 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: H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C), Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
  • Habit: Bushy
  • Foliage: Evergreen
  • Height: 100 - 150 cm (3.5 - 5 ft) (less if pruned)
  • Spread: 75 - 100 cm (2.5 - 3.5 ft) (less if pruned)
  • Time to full growth: 5 to 10 years
  • Plant type: Tree, shrub
  • Colour: Green, white, black
  • 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!