Ilex x altaclerensis 'BELGICA'

Ilex x altaclerensis
Ilex x altaclerensis 'BELGICA'
Highclere holly - spineless - female
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
 taller shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 3-5m
USUAL WIDTH 2-4m
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
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)
WINTER PROTECTION  
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
Rarities
Hedging plants
náhled fotonáhled fotonáhled foto
Highclere holly is a hybrid between ilex aquifolium and ilex perado, probably from England. All varieties of this hybrid are quite unique and have almost spineless, large leaves and often vigorous growth.

Belgica is another spineless Highclere holly that is rare both in cultivation as well as in garden centres. It is a beautiful and robust plant producing quite large, 7-10 cm long, widely elliptic, evergreen, flat, deep green, and partially glossy leaves. It is sometimes mistaken for Camelliifolia variety but does not turn purple in winter and Belgica’s foliage is not as glossy. It is a female variety that bears vivid red berries if a male pollinator is nearby. They are not edible nor poisonous but contain saponins which cause severe discomfort if eaten.

Under ideal conditions, e.g. in Benelux countries and England, it may grow quite tall and wide, whereas in our zone it makes a symmetrical, widely conical shrub that seldom exceeds 4-5m tall and 3-4m wide in full maturity. It can be pruned and shaped to maintain smaller size. Do not cut into old wood. It takes a considerable amount of time to repair its shape. Pruning in April will encourage new growths, trimming by end July is ideal for shaping.

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. 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. Hardy to about -25 °C (USDA zone 6), perhaps a little more.

Last update 21-11-2020
SIZES and PRICES
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Ilex x altaclerensis height 80-100 cm, width 50-60 cm
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WANT TO TRY A SIMILAR PLANT?
Ilex aquifolium
Ilex x altaclerensis
Ilex cornuta (syn.
GLOSSARY
  • 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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