The native Holly is an evergreen shrub or small tree with fabulous glossy green evergreen foliage. Holly prefers a damp soil and is ideal in part shade or shade. The plants are dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female plants and only the females have berries. It’s always a good idea to plant several if possible. But they are still great for evergreen Winter foliage which will also provide a winter habitat for insects in a wildlife garden.
The dense evergreen leaves provide a safe haven for wildlife through the winter and shelter for birds. If you are lucky enough to have berries, they provide a food source for birds too.
The leaves are also a larval food source for some butterflies and moths including the Holly blue butterfly. The flowers on the female plant are great for attracting pollinators.
The Holly bush is slow growing and although the leaves on young bushes are spiky, as they get older the edges become smoother. Holly is traditionally used in Christmas decorations.