Help with ID and Pollinator for Ilex opaca

toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)March 27, 2012

Several years back I ordered a handful of Ilex opaca American Holly trees from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Of them two have survived and are now about my height and flowering like mad.

First, I would like to confirm I have identified them correctly as female flowers.

Second, are there any shrub forms of Holly I can use for pollination?

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esh_ga

That is not Ilex opaca. Looks like one of the chinese ones like Ilex cornuta.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 7:40AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Uh oh. I will have to take a decent branch shot of each. Darn.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:23AM
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sam_md

My I. opaca is still deep in dormancy. Recorded date from previous years is May 26 for blooming peak.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 10:45AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Took some more cell phone pics this morning. Done with Fantasy Baseball so here you go.

What kind of Holly do I have? And if you can not tell from these pics do I need leaf scar shots or what?

Thanks for your time.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 2:02AM
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esh_ga

The leaves were distinctive enough for me to say it is some form of Ilex cornuta - Chinese. Shame on the Arbor Day Foundation for calling them American hollies.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:06AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

So heck, got a favorite male pollinator for them? A short one would be best.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 8:38AM
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esh_ga

I think there are dwarf forms of Ilex cornuta out there - just google for it (Ilex cornuta + dwarf). That would likely be considered a shrub.

But I would just shovel prune it. You didn't get what you thought, why keep it?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:13AM
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mrgpag

Hard to tell in your pictures whether those are male or female flowers so I attached a link that will show you in detail the differences.
Marshall

Here is a link that might be useful: Holly flowers

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 9:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm not sold that these are I. cornuta. I guess I've just seen too many variations of I. opaca foliage, especially seedling grown plants.

Any close up pictures show only female flowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaf variations of American Holly

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 3:15PM
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sam_md

Your female holly is blooming now and has green stems, it has no I. opaca blood in it.
Try searching your state's botanical garden website and compare to Nellie Stevens. NS is self-fruiting, did your tree bloom last year, did it make fruit?
If not you may have one of several cornuta hybrids.

Here is a link that might be useful: Missouri Botanical Garden

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:57PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

My goodness. I might have to buy a Nellie Stevens and carry it next to mine to see the differences.

So far my best moment identifying plants was with Fraxinus family ash trees. The "U" shaped bud of the Fraxinus Americana white ash helped me out.

Anything similar I should be looking for? The foliage is too variable.

My two identical Holly of some kind trees both bloomed lightly last year. Neither has ever had a berry. Bloom time this year is soo early. Of course March was the warmest in 130 year of record keeping. heard it would have been a top ten warm April!

My plan is to hunt down dwarf/small varieties of both Ilex opaca and Ilex cornuta and hope I get lucky.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 11:40PM
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sam_md


Hi toro,
I took this pic today near Chincoteague, Virginia. This is 'Nellie Stevens' Holly which you might compare with yours.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 8:57PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

That sure does look like Nelly Stevens or at least Ilex cornuta. Central Spike pointing down and all.

I got back on track here digging up some information on other trees in the yard and stumbled upon my 2004 Arbor Day receipt which sure enough reads American Holly

Thanks for the tips guys. These have always been a bit of an afterthought in my landscaping. They have a good deep green winter color. The smaller size might not be a detriment so I'll keep them until something inspires me.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 2:15AM
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