Ilex aquifolium – Common Holly (central Europe)
Habit: Domed large shrub or conical small tree, 2-5 (10) tall, up to 4 m wide, with sometimes twisting, unorderly twigs; twigs very overhanging at the lower section of the shrub, often lying on the ground, then sometimes taking root; vertically extended to stiffly upright at the top, slow-growing.
Flowers: Inconspicuous staminate or pistillate flowers, white, May.
Fruits: Pea-size stone fruits, shiny scarlet from September into early spring; plentiful, decorative, poisonous.
Leaves: Evergreen; oval to slenderly ovoid; shiny dark to black-green; thick and leathery; leaf margins on young or cut specimens have dense thorns; few thorns on old ones.
Roots: Far-reaching, cordate.
Demands: Sun to shade; only in full sun if soil is moist and humidity sufficient; for cool areas, suffers from heat and drought; favourable when protected from winter sun, east winds and extreme frost.
Soil: On all well drained, somewhat nutritious substrates; avoid clay due to frost damage.
Note: Responds well to cutting, possible as a hedge.
Hardiness: Zone 7a
Also see chapter on trained plants