Ilex × meserveae
Meserve Hybrid Holly
I-leks x me-SERV-ee-ie
- Broadleaf evergreen shrub to 10-15 ft (3-4.5 m). Purplish stems. Leaves alternate, simple, often dark green or blue-green, spiny margin, resembling small-leaved I. aquifolium, size varies with cultivar, about 2.5 to 6.5 cm long. Flowers white to pink-white. Fruit red; several male and female forms.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (4)5 Hardiest of the hollies that have the stereotypic "holly" look.
- Kathleen K. Meserve of St. James, New York, made crosses between the hardy species, I. rugosa, native to northern Japan, and I. aquifolium, the English Holly, which resulted in a series of plant introductions. These are called "Blue Hollies" and many have selection names beginning with "blue", e.g., 'Blue Girl', 'Blue Boy', some of the selections have trademarked plants name, e.g., Blue Prince®, Blue Princess®, etc. (Galle, 1997).
- Additionally, Ms. Meserve developed several selections from crosses of I. cornuta ´ I. aquifolium, including China Boy® [male (pollenizer), syn. 'Mesdob'] and China Girl® (female, syn. 'Mesog'), the latter has vivid red-orange fruit. Galle (1997) refers to these as "China Hollies" and does not consider them to be I. × meserveae. [Confused about cultivar names and trademark names?, see the Patents and Trademarks section in Scientific Plant Names, Home Page.]
- Oregon State Univ. campus: east side Market Place West (West Hall), selection Blue Princess® with a few Blue Prince® (pollenizer).