Ilex x meserveae 'LITTLE GLOSS'

Ilex x meserveae
Ilex x meserveae 'LITTLE GLOSS'
blue holly, Meserve holly - male
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
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) 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
náhled fotonáhled foto

Little Gloss is a very neat-looking variety of so-called blue holly. It was bred by K.Hübbers in German town Kranenburg. Its evergreen leaves are dark green, small and very glossy. Just like many other blue hollies they are not prickly, only finely serrated at margins thanks to which they are pleasant to touch. Little Gloss is a male variety not producing berries but is suitable as a pollinator for most female hollies that bear attractive fruit in autumn and winter and need a male plant nearby.

It grows slowly, naturally making a dense bush, only little pruning is needed if some branches shoot up faster than the rest of the shrub. Just cut them off from early spring until mid summer to keep the plant compact. Due to its small size this holly can make a miniature specimen in a small front yard, or can be used to create an informal, low hedge along the driveway.

Meserveae hollies are called “blue hollies” thanks to the shade of the species leaves that are dark green with bluish tint. And the name meserveae was chosen for its cultivator, Kathleen Meserve, who, literally on her windowsill, made a cross of ilex rugosa and ilex aquifolium in 1950´s to achieve excellent cold hardiness on a fabulously foliaged evergreen plant. She died in 1999 at the age of 93 but left behind an impressive line of these evergreen superbly hardy varieties.

Blue hollies need almost no maintenance if you provide them with slightly acidic soil at the beginning and enough moisture for the first couple of years to enable establishing extensive root system. They are beautiful and trouble-free dense shrubs with no defoliated twigs even without pruning. Young plants grow moderately fast until they reach about 1.5m when they slow down and begin forming a dense shrub.

Another huge advantage is its above mentioned hardiness. It can stand very low temperatures without any damage: Little Gloss has not yet been tested in all conditions but is supposed to survive -25 or even -27°C (USDA zone 5).

Last update 16-12-2010

Ilex x meserveae
Ilex x meserveae
Ilex x meserveae
  • 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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