Ilex aquifolium 'BACCIFLAVA'

Ilex aquifolium
Ilex aquifolium 'BACCIFLAVA'
English holly - female
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
FLOWERS insignificant or non-blooming
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE acidic (peaty)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 5b   (down to -27°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
Hedging plants
náhled fotonáhled foto

Bacciflava, formerly called fructu luteo, is a female holly producing attractive rich yellow fruit in autumn and winter. The berries are quite firm for a long time, and will only soften after a significant thaw usually in mid winter, and only then the birds will feast on them. By then you can enjoy the profusion of beautiful berries as they decorate the plant with its cheerful colour on cold and grey days of winter. Beware that Bacciflava is a female variety which needs a male plant nearby for pollination of its flowers.

Evergreen leaves are very dark green and highly glossy. Young plants have slightly undulated foliage with small spines, but as they reach a height of about 1.7m they do not have to worry about animals eating them off and start producing flatter leaves without protection (spines). They make majority of entire leaves with just one central sharp tip. Annual growth is about 15-20 cm which makes it a rather slow or at most moderate grower. Natural shape is pyramidal, quite symmetrical, with large bottom part and slender top. With age it gets more even as far as its spread in low, middle, and central parts, and old plants exhibit an almost columnar habit. Garden grown plants reach about 4m tall, whereas those growing in the wild, and in parks and arboretums with plenty of root space can get twice as big.

Hollies are often pruned. It is common to cut some branches in December as a Christmas decoration, and in order to achieve denser or smaller plants they can be pruned in early spring after all frosts. Early summer trimming is also possible, it will help the plants maintain its neat shape.

Grow hollies in moist but well-drained, fertile soil. They can take periods of drought once established but dislike compacted, heavy-clay-based soils that turn very dry in summer, and often too wet in winter. If your soil is such, dig the planting hole only half the depth of the root ball, refine what you dig out and mix well with quality substrate of highly acidic level (low pH value). Using this mixture make a gradual slope from the stem to the original ground level and tamp it down as much as you can. Your root ball should not look like a molehill but more like a wide and flat mound. Mulch it well and keep watering it more often as it will be more prone to drying out as opposed to most common flat-in-the-ground transplanting.

Hollies do best in full sun but can also grow in shade where they will loose their compact habit. This variety proved very hardy even in full sun in winter. However, if you live in a region with cold winters and long-lasting frost we recommend growing it in position sheltered from drying winds, and preferably shaded from winter sun. Before and during winter when the soil is not frozen provide good watering. Hardy to about -27°C (USDA zone 5b).

Last update 08-12-2016

Ilex x meserveae (
Ilex aquifolium
Ilex aquifolium
  • 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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