tree

Mary Nell Holly

Ilex 'Mary Nell'

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Mary Nell Holly (Ilex 'Mary Nell') at New Garden Landscaping & Nursery

Mary Nell Holly foliage

Mary Nell Holly foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  15 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6b

Description:

Lustrous, oval leaves are light to dark green and slightly scalloped; brilliant red fruit throughout winter

Ornamental Features

Mary Nell Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries in late fall. It has attractive forest green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The spiny oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain forest green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Mary Nell Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen tree with a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds and bees to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Mary Nell Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Mary Nell Holly will grow to be about 15 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is particular about its soil conditions, with a strong preference for rich, acidic soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing 
Applications
Fruit  Foliage Color  Plant Form  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features