I noticed this small holly (second picture below) near my large ones but they don't look alike. When they re-seed do they revert back to a parent?
The planted one looks like a Meserve holly and the seedling looks like it could be Ilex opaca. Otherwise, unless a different tendency is already known to be in effect any hybrid offspring of any kind of plant could be expected to favor one parent over another - instead of being an obvious combination of the two. Some genuinely hybrid cultivars really look like they aren't hybrids, differ visibly only in certain details.
Your volunteer looks like good old Ilex opaca to me too. They are native here and come up under all the trees (from the birds).
I'm actually getting some volunteer seedlings coming up from my blue holly ('Castle Spire'). I'm potting them up because they may just be interesting! I'll observe the form and plant in yard if they look good. I can always use some more male polllinators too.
Since 'Castle Spire' is likely an Ilex rugosa x Ilex aquifolium mix, it may favor either of the parents or look similar to 'Castle Wall'. Of several seedlings coming up, they all show a bit of variation.
I also had a seedling come up that looked like a Nellie Stevens seedling. It was glossier than pura opaca. But Nellie was much better, so I composted it.
I wish hollies were easier to grow from seeds, cause it's a very interesting genus and I can think of lots more interesting hybrid combinations.
This post was edited by dave_in_nova on Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 10:57
A friend of mine has what I believe to be American Hollies and they get a handful of seedlings every season. He always offers them to me but I don't like them as much because their leaves are extra prickly.