Japanese holly Aquifoliaceae Ilex
crenata Thunb. symbol: ILCR2
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, elliptical to obovate, very small (1/2 to 3/4 inch long), shallowly toothed on upper half or margin entire, shiny dark green above, dull light green below.
Flower: Species is dioecious; small (1/3 to 1/2 inch across) white, 4-petaled, pale greenish center, appear in late spring.
Fruit: Black, round drupe, 1/4 to 1/3 inch in diameter, ripen in early fall, persistent into spring.
Twig: Slender, yellow-green, often pubescent, buds small, leaf scar with 1 bundle scar.
Bark: Smooth, light greenish brown to gray.
Form: Most planted cultivars are a small shrub with a very dense crown, rarely exceeds 3 feet in height. Some varieties are more upright and the native species is a small tree.
Looks like: boxwood - Chinese holly - yaupon - myrtle holly
Additional Range Information: Ilex crenata is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson