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Greenleaf American Holly

Ilex opaca 'Greenleaf'

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Greenleaf American Holly (Ilex opaca 'Greenleaf') at Fernwood Garden Center

Greenleaf American Holly

Greenleaf American Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Greenleaf American Holly (Ilex opaca 'Greenleaf') at Fernwood Garden Center

Greenleaf American Holly fruit

Greenleaf American Holly fruit

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Greenleaf American Holly (Ilex opaca 'Greenleaf') at Fernwood Garden Center

Greenleaf American Holly foliage

Greenleaf American Holly foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  25 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Description:

This broad pyramidal evergreen has spiny, glossy dark green leaves and showy red berries in winter; dense habit of growth; an excellent specimen plant for the home landscape, does best in evenly moist, acidic soils; needs male pollinator nearby

Ornamental Features

Greenleaf American Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from mid fall to late winter. It has dark green foliage which emerges chartreuse in spring. The spiny oval leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Greenleaf American Holly is a dense evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. 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.

This tree will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Greenleaf American Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Vertical Accent
  • Hedges/Screening

Planting & Growing

Greenleaf American Holly will grow to be about 25 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 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 80 years or more. This variety requires a different selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in 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 leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Articulation  Screening 
Applications
Fruit  Plant Form  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features