Advanced Search Filters

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

ILEX 'Mary Nell'

Image of Ilex 'Mary Nell'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Aquifoliaceae

Botanical Name

ILEX 'Mary Nell'

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Holly, Mary Nell Holly

General Description

The vigorous and pretty holly ‘Mary Nell’ graces the fall and winter with branches lined with spiny glossy leaves and small red berries. It has a pyramidal habit and its oval leaves have many flattened spines that are sharp to the touch. They are brighter green when they emerge in spring and quickly deepen to dark glossy green. This hybrid resulted from a complex cross between (Ilex cornuta x I. pernyi) and I. latifolia.

Hollies are dioecious, which means plants have either male or female flowers. All berry producers, like ‘Mary Nell’, are female and need male plants nearby for pollination and subsequent fruit set. Any male Perny or Chinese holly will serve as an effective cross-pollinator. The mature fruits of 'Mary Nell' are bright red and held tightly in small clusters along the stems. Later in the season songbirds eat the berries.

This holly accepts most well-drained soils but prefers slightly acid loam. It grows well in full or partial sun and will tolerate drought and summer heat well once established. Too much shade will induce leggy growth and sparse foliage. It is a fast-growing, pest-free plant that is perfect for tall hedges, large planters or mixed borders. It also makes a superb specimen plant and its pretty boughs can be cut and enjoyed indoors for holiday decorating.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    18'-25' / 5.5m - 7.6m

  • Width

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark 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

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No