There are two main types of Ilex for ornamental use; Ilex verticillata (tall, upright branches) and Ilex aquifolium (or common Holly). Both stand out because of their striking, colourful berries. They’re perfect for decorations, arrangements and bouquets.
The bare Ilex branches, covered in brightly coloured berries, are popular for cutting and in arrangements. They bring rich colours, radical atmosphere and midwinter magic to any vase, bouquet or event. Holly is a popular traditional Christmas decoration, the sharp-edged leaves and red berries are often used in wreaths, decorative arrangements, etc. Holly is an evergreen shrub.
Growing Ilex requires a bit of patience: it takes about a year for Ilex to grow its branches. Then, in the second year, Ilex will bloom and bear fruit. It takes about five years before a grower can start harvesting Ilex. Growing Ilex plants of superior quality is a tough challenge, demanding both dedication and technical skill of the grower.
Ilex plants are harvested for their decorative branches, with densely packed berries. Harvest takes place from November until the end of January, with a good spread. Only female plants grow the berries. But because they need the male plants for reproduction, a plant nursery will almost always plant both female and male Ilex. To bring you the most beautiful decorative branches, with superior quality berries but without any foliage, the branches are kept under canvas in autumn. The leaves rot and fall off, while the plants (and berries) remain vital.
We believe Ilex and Holly are more than Christmas favourites: there remains world of endless possibilities, still to be explored. We invite you on our journey to do more with Ilex and Holly. There are about 10 colours available, from radical red to sunny orange. Ilex verticillata is available in about 15 colours, from red to orange and yellow. All warm winter hues, easy to intermix and forming an inviting, modern palette.