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25 Different Types of Holly Trees (with Pictures)

English holly tree

If you’re looking to improve your landscape and add a lovely plant that doesn’t require much maintenance, having a Holly Tree would be one of the best options. Different varieties are mainly easy to nurture, and all of them have a unique appearance that will add up to the appeal of your garden.

Each Holly Tree has a distinct appearance and characteristics, so it can be hard to choose which one fits into your landscape due to the diversity they offer. We have come up with a list of 25 different types of Holly Trees to help you narrow down your search.

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The 25 Different Types of Holly Trees

1.  American Holly Tree

American Holly Tree is an evergreen, ornamental tree that can reach an incredible height from 25 feet up to over 60 feet, and its spread goes anywhere from 18 to 40 feet. Female plants are known for their bright red berries. American Holly Trees are slow-growing, and although they do perform well in the shade, they grow the best in partial sun. The American Holly Tree, also called Christmas Holly, is used for making Christmas decorations.

2.  English Holly Tree

The English Holly Tree is most common type of holly tree in Europe, although it can be found in other parts of the world. It is mainly categorized as a shrub or a dwarf tree, with a height of 15 to 35 feet. English Holly Tree spread reaches around 15 feet, while the spiky leaves and red berries add to its charm. It’s considered an evergreen plant that prefers full sun for better growth.

3.  Chinese Holly Tree

The Chinese Holly Tree is another excellent species of Holly Trees that can be grown as a small tree or a larger shrub. Their height and spread can grow around 15 feet, making them low maintenance. They are also slow-growing, and it’s best to keep them in full sun so that they can advance better. The Chinese Holly Tree is one of the first hollies that blossoms in spring, with stunning yellowish flowers, whereas in colder months, they have red, orange, or even yellow berries.

4.  Japanese Holly Tree

Japanese holly tree
Image Credit: Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock

The Japanese Holly Tree is an undemanding shrub native to Japan and Asia. This type of Holly Tree is very small, and it’s only 3 to 10 feet wide and high. They can be fast-growing, but they require acidic soil, and you need to place them in full or partial sun. Because of their size, they are a perfect addition to smaller spaces, making them unique with their small deep blue or black fruits.

5.  Carolina Holly Tree

Carolina Holly Tree, also known as sandy holly, is a species that has native American heritage. It also falls into the bush category, and it grows the best in sandy areas. Their height reaches up to 20 feet, and it’s a decorative plant with purple twigs and simple, wide leaves.

6.  Hawaiian Holly Tree

Hawaiian Holly Tree, as the name says it, comes from Hawaii. This attractive plant has glossy, burgundy leaves with red berries when blooming. It requires more maintenance than most other hollies because it needs to be trimmed regularly. It’s used as a house plant, and it can succeed outside in the partial shade. When outdoors, they become anywhere from 5 to 20 feet tall, whereas their height reduces to 4 to 8 feet if indoors.

See also: 33 Types of Trees in Hawaii (with Pictures)

7.  Dahoon Holly Tree

Dahoon Holly Tree is a hardy holly type that can thrive in any surroundings. The tree is easy to maintain, and it will be a great decorative piece for months. This evergreen holly is perfect for any landscape, with a height of 40 feet and a spread of 12 to 15 feet, providing ideal shade in the summer. They grow best in full sun and need over 6 hours of sun for faster production.

8.  Finetooth Holly Tree

Finetooth Holly Tree falls in deciduous holly types, and it can be up to 13 feet tall. It is also known as Japanese Winterberry because of its pink flowers and its ability to endure in the cold more than other holly specimens. It has an outstanding evolution when planted in acidic, moist soils. This tree requires both a female and a male for successful pollination.

9.  Inkberry Holly Tree

Inkberry Holly Tree is an evergreen bush plant that can reach a height and spread of 4 feet once mature. It’s round, dense, and this is another holly that is slow-growing. It will be suitable for your landscape, mainly by providing green tones even in winter, making your garden lush and inviting. It starts to produce dark berries during mid-fall that last until late winter.

10. Yaupon Holly Tree

yaupon holly tree
Image Credit: Pixabay

The Yaupon Holly Tree is distinctive from other species because only female plants can produce berries. Yaupon hollies have shiny, dark green, rounded leaves and the berries that grow on female plants are bright red. This holly can become 12 to 40 feet tall in its mature phase. A significant characteristic about the Yaupon Holly Tree is that it can grow equally in the shade as it does in the sun.

11. Longstalked Holly Tree

Longstalked Holly Tree is a plant whose origins come from Asia. This plant is very adaptable, and it can grow as a small tree or a shrub, depending on how you prune it. This holly is also evergreen, and the females provide small red berries. Depending on how you treat it (as a shrub or a small plant), it can grow from 10 to 20 feet and spread up to 15 feet.

12. Blue Princess Holly Tree

Blue Princess
Image Credit: Blue Princess, David Stang, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International

Blue  Princess Holly Tree is an evergreen species like most other hollies, and it makes a perfect winter decoration by providing stunning views of ruby berries and green-blue foliage. It can endure in any climate, and you need a male for pollination. Their mature spread can reach 10 feet, while their mature height is usually 10 to 15 feet.

13. Lusterleaf Holly Tree

Lusterleaf Holly Tree is very different from other hollies because this holly tree grows rapidly, unlike other holly species. It has shiny, broad leaves, and it tolerates mostly any soil type. When it comes to its growth, partial shade or full sun are the best option for this species. They have a pyramidal shape and can grow over 23 feet high.

14. Kurogane Holly Tree

Kurogane Holly Tree, also called Round Leaf Holly, has Asian roots, and it produces best in warm climates and sunny weather. Kurogane Holly Tree has large, spineless leaves, blooms from May until June, and produces red, bright fruits in autumn. This holly species constantly requires moist soil, so they must be watered regularly. Their height can reach over 30 feet, and they spread up to 15 feet.

15. Yerba Mate Holly Tree

Yerba Mate Holly Tree is native to South America, and it’s known for its caffeine-infused leaves that were used to create a tea-like beverage. Like most other hollies, this one is evergreen, with broad, dark leaves, although this species can grow even up to 30 feet which is not typical for holly plants. They bloom in late autumn and provide delicate white flowers that are an exquisite addition to any garden.

16. Myrtle-Leaved Holly Tree

Myrtle-Leaved Holly Tree is a Hollie type that flourishes the most in acidic, moist soil in full sun. This plant has absolutely no resistance to cold weather, so it’s not the best choice if you live in that type of climate. They are also considered small trees or bushes, with a height not over 18 feet. Its leaves are small and have a lighter green shade, while the berries can vary from red to orange and yellow tones.

17. Catberry Holly Tree

Catberry Holly Tree is also called the Mountain Holly or Swamp Holly. Previously, it wasn’t treated as a holly specimen, but they have been classified that way in the end due to the similarities with other hollies. Their leaves are simple, elongated, and have toothless edges. They grow from 6 to 10 feet and are also counted into shrub plants.

18. Possumhaw Holly Tree

Possumhaw Holly Tree is a deciduous evergreen species that becomes 15 to 30 feet tall when mature. Their leaves are oval and glossy, while their branches are pale gray and horizontal. They require full sun or partial shade for best growth. This is another holly that has red berries during winter, and it attracts a lot of animals like possums and other mammals.

19. Altaclere Holly Tree

Altaclere Holly Tree, also known as the Gold King, is a holly that is easy to upkeep, and it grows best in full or partial sun. It’s primarily planted in warm climates, and it requires moist soils for better production. This plant doesn’t require a lot of watering, and it can take her up to 25 years to reach maturity. Once mature, their height can vary from 13 to 26 feet, while their spread can get up to 13 feet in top conditions.

20. Hedgehog Holly Tree

Hedgehog Holly Tree got its name because of the green, spiky leaves with yellow-white tips. This holly type only has male species, so it doesn’t have berries like other hollies. Still, it can look fabulous in a winter garden because it’s also evergreen. Their usual size is 15 to 25 feet high and 8 to 10 feet wide. They can be kept even smaller by regular maintenance and trimming.

21. Winterberry Holly Tree

Winterberry Holly Tree is a shrub holly that is native to America. This holly tree has red berries throughout the winter and in the first months of spring. It is easy to grow and adapt to different soils well, although it can face disease and pest problems. This is another slow-growing specimen that usually grows from 3 to 15 feet in height and can spread up to 5 feet.

22. Japanese ‘Brass Buckle’ Holly Tree

The Japanese ‘Brass Buckle’ Holly Tree is a breed of the Japanese Holly, but it is counted as a separate species. This attractive holly has small, yellow leaves that have their bright color throughout the year. They are tiny, with a height of only 12 to 18 inches. This plant loves full sun and partial shade, and medium moist, drained soils are the best choice when planting it.

23. Japanese ‘Sky Pencil’ Holly Tree

The Japanese ‘Sky Pencil’ Holly Tree is another kind of Japanese Holly, also treated as a unique type of holly. They are famous for their elongated, narrow look, which makes them distinctive from any other plan in your garden. Sky Pencil Holly Tree produces purple berries in fall, growing from 3 to 10 feet tall. They don’t require trimming or any special care, so they are great for people who want something easy growing and non-demanding.

24. Silver Milkmaid Holly Tree

Silver Milkmaid Holly Tree is an evergreen holly that can be grown as a small tree, shrub, or hedge. This specimen has both male and female plants, and the female ones have berries in winter. Their leaves are white-yellow with spiky green tips. The soil that works best for them is mildly acidic and dry. They bloom in May and June and require shade or partial shade for prospering growth. Their height reaches 6 to 8 feet when fully mature.

25. Belgica Aurea Holly Tree

Belgica Aurea Holly Tree is a shrub, or a small evergreen tree,  with dark-green, 3 inch long leaves with mustard-yellow tips. They grow the best in well-drained but moist soils in full sun. When this holly tree is mature, which can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years,  it can reach a height of 40 feet and a spread of 15 feet,

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As you can see, hollies have a lot of diversity, and each is different in its own way. Carefully read all the different characteristics of each holly tree, and decide which one will work the best for you. Plant it, and enjoy a lovely garden that will be green throughout the year.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock

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