Ilex colchica

Ilex colchica
Ilex colchica 
Black Sea holly - female
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
USUAL WIDTH 1.5-2.5m
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
FLOWERS insignificant or non-blooming
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty) to neutral
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto

Black Sea holly lives naturally in the regions of Balkan Peninsula, Caucasus, and some parts of Turkey. It is becoming less and less common in the wild mainly because of excess exploitation of forests which make the typical microclimate for this holly. It used to be considered a subspecies of common holly ilex aquifoilum until Antonina Ivanovna Pojarkova gave detailed description and comparison for this plant, and classified it as separate species.

Black Sea holly is an evergreen shrub with beautiful, emerald green leaves that are leathery, 3-6 cm long, distinctly toothed but usually not spiny. They grow alternately along light green to yellow-green stems and densely cover the plant. Black Sea holly is a slow grower, making a medium-sized shrub that is usually wider than tall in our climate. Female plants produce small, red berries, but are unlikely to fruit profusely here. It is grown for its evergreen, highly decorative leaves and compact habit. Pruning is possible in early spring after frosts.

This holly needn’t be protected from hot Balkan sun here, so you can grow it in full European sun, too, as well as part shade. It does best in evenly moist but well-drained, light, and fertile soil. Once established it can take periods of drought. If you live in a region with extreme winters and long-lasting frosts we recommend growing it in a position sheltered from drying winds, and protected from winter sun. Before and during winter, when the soil is not frozen, provide good watering. Reliably hardy to min. -24°C (USDA zone 6), possibly more (not yet trialed).

Last update 20-01-2013; 06-02-2017

Osmanthus fragrans f.
Osmanthus x fortunei (o.aquifolium)
Ilex x koehneana
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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