Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

ILEX aquifolium 'Amber'

Image of Ilex aquifolium 'Amber'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Aquifoliaceae

Botanical Name

ILEX aquifolium 'Amber'

Plant Common Name

Amber English Holly, English Holly

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Glossy green foliage and a prolific crop of pale yellow to light apricot-colored berries are noteworthy features of the Amber English holly. This is the classic holly species that you see decorating English winter landscapes and decorative holiday displays. The glossy, dark green leaves of English holly trees have long, sharp undulating spines, but on 'Amber' the leaves may be less spined on occasion. They are pretty all year around but are most alluring in fall and winter when their cheerful berries appear. The tall trees are pyramidal broadleaf evergreens that originate from southern and western Europe, western Asia and regions in northern Africa.

The oval leaves are glossy dark green with a few flat or wavy, sharp-tipped edges. Its small, fragrant flowers are creamy white and appear in spring. Most hollies are dioecious, which means plants have either male or female flowers. Nearby male trees' flowers are needed for bee pollination and fruit set on the female 'Amber'. Fruits develop a light yellow hue blushed with faint orange. They persist deep into winter among the leaves. The berries are eventually eaten by hungry winter birds, but after red holly berries are first stripped from the landscape.

Grow 'Amber' in full or partial sun in a well-drained, fertile soil with an acid to neutral pH. Highly alkaline soils will cause nutritional deficiencies and chlorotic foliage and too much shade will induce leggy growth and sparse foliage. Mature specimens will tolerate drought and summer heat. This tall holly works well along large foundations and makes a superb specimen plant. Its pretty boughs can be cut and enjoyed indoors for holiday decorating.

English holly self-sows in favorable climates, and is considered a weed in parts of Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    25'-40' / 7.6m - 12.2m (30)

  • Width

    20'-30' / 6.1m - 9.1m (20)

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Light Yellow

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes