Evergreen Holly

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Evergreen hollies are appreciated for their shiny, decorative foliage in winter, which can be prickly or not depending on the species. The vast Ilex genus, belonging to the Aquifoliaceae family, includes over four hundred mainly evergreen holly species, most of which are native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Hollies grow quite slowly, but they can live for over 300 years. They are basic shrubs that perfectly structure the garden during the winter season. And let's not forget their berries, so cheerful during the dark and short days of winter. At the top of the list is 'Ilex aquifolium' (the common holly found in forests), which has given rise to numerous varieties and hybrids with different leaf variegations and variously coloured fruits. Ilex (x) meservae represents a group of hybrids from the USA, known for their hardiness and abundance of berries. Use evergreen hollies in informal hedges, along with other evergreen or deciduous shrubs. Thanks to their fruits that last the winter, hollies are valuable species for some birds that feed on them, such as blackbirds and thrushes.

 

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