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Oldham Advertiser - - LEISURE -

HOLLY (Ilex Aquifolium)

JUST its name con­jures up images of Christ­mas, the bright red berries and rich green leaves tak­ing pride of place in many fes­tive wreaths and other dec­o­ra­tions.

But re­mem­ber when buy­ing a holly bush, if you want berries, check on the va­ri­ety you are buy­ing be­cause most types of holly carry the male and fe­male flow­ers on sep­a­rate plants, so one of each is re­quired for suc­cess­ful fer­til­i­sa­tion.

If you only have room for one, some va­ri­eties are self fer­tile and will pro­duce berries, such as Ilex Aquifolium ‘J.C. van Tol’, which pro­duces an abun­dance of bright red berries.

‘In­dian Chief ’ is fe­male, while ‘Sil­ver Queen’ is a male va­ri­ety.

They will thrive in vir­tu­ally any soil in sun or shade, although var­ie­gated types need a sunny spot.

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