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Shropshire, United Kingdom Gb

Ilex. Could anyone recommend a Ilex tree/shrub with varietgated leaves that are smooth? Have seen some varieties such as 'Golden Van Tol' and 'Golden King' but they sometime shave spikes on the edge of their leaves and sometimes are smooth??? Silly question maybe but do they change their leave contour at some stage? I am after a SMOOTH leaf variety with plenty of colour. Many thanks.



If you want variegated holly that produces berries without a pollinator, Golden van tol is probably the best one available in the UK. There are some American hollies which are completely spineless (Winter Bounty for instance) but these are plain green and do need pollinators - I'm also not sure you'll find them here anyway.

There is a theory that virtually spineless varieties like J C van tol sometimes produce more spines when they've been under stress - maybe drought, for instance.

16 Jan, 2014


In nature, holly trees have spiny leaves at the bottom of the tree to deter grazing by mammals. Further up, the leaves become smooth; so you can get both smooth and spiny leaves on the same tree.

16 Jan, 2014


Thank you for that information Bamboo. Will probabbly stick to Golden van Tol.

Bulbaholic - that explains it then!

16 Jan, 2014


I have The green JC Van Tol and the spines are really quite tame in comparison with other hollies.

16 Jan, 2014

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