Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ilex - evergreen ones

Lots of photos this morning - more than I thought I had, so I'll leave the opacas until tomorrow and start with those which are less well know.
This first one is Ilex x attenuata 'Foster No. 2'. It is a tree, about 15 feet tall after 20 years, though it might be taller if it hadn't died to the ground the winter of the 50 below zero days. Smaller leaves and lots of berries which the cardinals just love. We have two of them planted along the walk up to the front of the house and now I can see them from my office window upstairs.

The next two are of Ilex x meserceae, this one is 'Blue Princess'. These are more bushy and outs have been here forever and haven't gotten over about 4 feet tall. These also get lots of berries and have very deep green, also smaller leaves. Oddly enough, this one seems to make berries at odd times during the year, often more than once a year.

And this one is 'Blue Girl'. I don't see a lot of difference, and both are very nice plants.

This next one is Ilex latifolia. This isn't quite hardy here. It might work all right outside with lots of protection and mulch, being more of a zone 7 plant, but I'm not taking a chance since it's so nice. It lives in a big pot and goes outside in the summer and lives on the sunporch in the winter. It is a most un-holly-like holly with it's big green leaves and really looks more like a rhododendron. No berries on this one yet, but I've only had it 2 years and it hasn't bloomed yet.

Ilex glabra 'Shamrock' is also a small bush. It is also known as inkberry because it has black berries rather than the expected red ones. Small leaves, no thorns - which is a good thing. As much as I love my hollies and probably have over 100 of them in the gardens in various places, I hate weeding near them because no matter how careful I am, I always end up geting at least one leaf impaled in my hand. Ouch! A good reason for growing some of the spineless kinds.

This one is a cross - Ilex cornuta x pernyi 'Dr. Kassab'. Cornuta is a Chinese holly and I'm not sure about Pernyi. It's a pretty plant, though and not too large.

Last but not least is another of the Iles aquifoliums, 'Crispa Aurea'. This one is a yellowish leaf which is a bit distorted, or crisped. This like the other aquifoliums is a really small plant here.

Tomorrow the opacas in all of their variations of berry color and leaf shape - bet you thought you knew what American Holly looked like.

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