Advanced Search Filters

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

ILEX 'Nellie Stevens'

Image of Ilex 'Nellie Stevens'

Eva Monheim

Family

Aquifoliaceae

Botanical Name

ILEX 'Nellie Stevens'

Plant Common Name

Hybrid Holly, Nellie R. Stevens Holly

General Description

This small pyramidal holly tree has dense glossy leaves and becomes loaded with crimson-red berries in fall and early winter. It is a fast-growing hybrid that arose from a cross between Ilex cornuta and I. aquifolium.

In spring it bears tiny fragrant white flowers. Hollies are dioecious, which means plants have either male or female flowers. All berry producers, like ‘Nellie R Stevens,' are female and need male plants nearby for pollination and subsequent fruit set. Any male Chinese or English holly will serve as an effective pollinator. The berries develop their red color in fall and continue to look pretty into winter until they fall or are eaten by hungry winter birds.

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 hardy and perfect for tall hedges, large foundations or mixed borders. It also makes a superb specimen plant and its pretty boughs can be cut and enjoyed indoors for holiday decorating. It accepts shearing nicely and may be sculpted to have a more formal appearance.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Pyramidal

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Crimson

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Sandy Brown

  • 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