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25 Different Types of Holly Trees (with Pictures)

English holly tree

If you want to improve your landscape and add a lovely plant that doesn’t require much maintenance, having a Holly tree is one of the best options. Some varieties are easy to nurture and have a unique appearance that will benefit your yard or garden. Each Holly has a distinct appearance and characteristics, and choosing the species that fits into your landscape can be challenging due to the diversity they offer. Below, we have compiled a list of 25 types of Holly Trees to help you narrow your search.

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The 25 Different Types of Holly Trees

1.  American Holly Tree

The 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 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 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 the most common type of holly tree in Europe but 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 is another excellent species of Holly tree that can be grown as a small or 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.

The Chinese Holly Tree is one of the first 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
Photo Credit By: 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 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

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

6.  Hawaiian Holly Tree

The Hawaiian Holly, as the name implies, comes from Hawaii. This attractive plant has glossy, burgundy leaves with red berries when blooming. It requires more maintenance than most other Hollys because it needs to be trimmed regularly.

It’s used as a house plant and can thrive outside in the partial shade. The Hawaiian Holly can grow 5 to 20 feet tall outdoors, 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

The Dahoon Holly Tree is a hardy type that can thrive in any surroundings. The tree is easy to maintain and 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

The Finetooth Holly is deciduous and can grow up to 13 feet tall. It is also known as Japanese Winterberry because of its pink flowers and ability to endure in the cold more than other holly specimens. It thrives when planted in acidic, moist soils, and it requires a female and a male for successful pollination.

9.  Inkberry Holly Tree

The Inkberry Holly Tree is an evergreen bush plant that can reach a height and spread of 4 feet once mature. It’s round and dense and grows slowly. It provides 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
Photo Credit By: 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 of the Yaupon Holly Tree is that it can grow equally in the shade as in the sun.

11. Longstalked Holly Tree

The Longstalked Holly is native to Asia. The plant is adaptable and can grow as a small tree or a shrub, depending on how you prune it. It 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

The Blue Princess Holly is an evergreen species, and it makes a perfect winter decoration by providing stunning views of ruby berries and green-blue foliage. It can endure in any climate, but 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

The Lusterleaf Holly is very different from other species because it grows rapidly. It has shiny, broad leaves and tolerates any soil type. Regarding its growth, partial shade or full sun is the best option for this species. They have a pyramidal shape and can grow over 23 feet high.

14. Kurogane Holly Tree

The Kurogane Holly, also called Round Leaf Holly, has Asian roots and thrives in warm climates and sunny weather. It has large, spineless leaves, blooms from May until June, and produces red, bright fruit in autumn. It requires moist soil and must be watered regularly. It can grow over 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide.

15. Yerba Mate Holly Tree

The Yerba Mate Holly is native to South America and known for its caffeine-infused leaves that were used to create a tea-like beverage. Like most other Hollies, it is evergreen, with broad, dark leaves, but this species can grow up to 30 feet. They bloom in late autumn and provide delicate white flowers that are an exquisite addition to any garden.

16. Myrtle-Leaved Holly Tree

The Myrtle-Leaved Holly Tree flourishes in the most acidic, moist soil in full sun. It has no resistance to cold weather, so it’s not the best choice if you live in a cooler climate. They are also considered small trees or bushes with a height of around 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

The Catberry Holly is also called the Mountain Holly or Swamp Holly. Previously, it wasn’t treated as a Holly but is now considered one due to its similarities with other Hollies. Their leaves are simple, elongated, and have toothless edges. They grow from 6 to 10 feet and are considered shrubs.

18. Possumhaw Holly Tree

The Possumhaw Holly 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 possums and other mammals.

19. Altaclere Holly Tree

The Altaclere Holly Tree, also known as the Gold King, is easy to care for and grows best in full or partial sun. It’s primarily planted in warm climates and requires moist soils for better production.

This plant doesn’t require a lot of watering, and it can take 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

The Hedgehog Holly was named after the green, spiky leaves with yellow-white tips. It only has male specimens, so it doesn’t have berries like other Hollies. Still, it can look fabulous in a winter garden because it’s 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

The Winterberry Holly is a shrub that is native to America. It has red berries throughout the winter and in the first months of spring. It is easy to grow in different soils but is vulnerable to disease and pest problems. This slow-growing specimen usually grows  3 to 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

22. Japanese ‘Brass Buckle’ Holly Tree

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

23. Japanese ‘Sky Pencil’ Holly Tree

The Japanese ‘Sky Pencil’ is a unique type. They are famous for their elongated, narrow look, which makes them distinctive from any other plan in your garden. Sky Pencil Hollies produces purple berries in fall, growing from 3 to 10 feet tall. They don’t require trimming or special care.

24. Silver Milkmaid Holly Tree

The Silver Milkmaid Holly is an evergreen that can be grown as a small tree, shrub, or hedge. This specimen has male and female plants, and the females 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 best in well-drained but moist soil 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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Hollies are gorgeous plants that can adapt to various climates and soils. Since some species are hardier than others, it’s best to ensure the ones you’re interested in can survive in your location. Also, if you want bright red berries to develop on your Hollies, you may need a female plant, depending on the species. Whether you need landscaping plants or large trees, Hollies have attractive foliage year-round.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Turner Photography, Shutterstock


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