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Inkberry Holly

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Ilex glabra (Inkberry Holly) – This extremely versatile medium-sized evergreen shrub can be used in the garden or for hedging, massing, and topiary. It has small oval leaves and interesting black berries in winter, and is reasonably hardy. It can be a suckerer, so use where this is an advantage.

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
8 feet
Average Landscape Width:
10 feet
Growth Rate:
slow
Genus:
Ilex
Species:
glabra
Summer Foliage Color:
dark green
Minimum Light:
partial shade
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
moist
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
low
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
high
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Evergreen:
1

Ornamental Features

Inkberry Holly has dark green evergreen foliage on a plant with an upright spreading habit of growth. The glossy narrow leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. It produces black berries from mid fall to late winter.

Landscape Attributes

Inkberry Holly is a multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Inkberry Holly will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 3 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a dioecious species, meaning that individual plants are either male or female. Only the females will produce fruit, and a male variety of the same species is required nearby as a pollinator.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

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