Staff’s “Pick”

by Shon D. Cameron, SGG Gardener

As one of the newest staff members here at the Gardens, I had the privilege of picking a plant for this section of the newsletter. My choice, Ilex cornuta D’Or, commonly known as the D’Or Holly,  is part of the Aquifoliacae family and related to the ‘Burfordii’ holly.  It has blocky oval, shiny dark green leaves with a sharp spine on the tip.  White flowers bloom in the spring and decorative bright yellow berries in the fall through winter.  It boasts a large frame – 10 to 15 feet tall and just as wide.  

Its size alone would make it a great screening plant or hedge; however, there are many options available, such as espalier or pruning older specimens into a bonsai style tree form as a garden focal point.

It requires part shade to full sun and does well in Zones 7 to 9 – ranging from 4.5 to 8. Once the holly has reached the establishment period, it can deal with soil moisture variances between moist to dry. This plant is not fussy about soil structure; it can handle sites with sandy soil to mostly clay.  A standard recommendation for our area would be good drainage and the use of soil conditioner if planting in clay.

This plant is deer and rabbit resistant and can handle our heat and humidity.  Most insect issues can be handled with a systemic drench.

You can find a beautiful example of this holly right here are the Gardens, stop by and see if this plant would be perfect for your own garden.

If you would like more information about acquiring a D’Or Holly, come see me at the gardens Monday through Wednesday.