Ilex integra

12 May

Ilex integra (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Ilex integra (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 6m

Eventual Spread: 5m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Ilex integra is an evergreen tree with a rounded habit. Its dark green, leathery leaves are elliptic with entire margins, up to 8cm long and 4.5cm broad. Its silver/ grey bark is smooth. Its yellow flowers are four lobed, cross shaped, up to 7mm across and are arranged in cymes. Its fruit is a red drupe, up to 12mm across and persists on the plant throughout the winter months. Male and female plants must be planted for the female plants to produce berries.

Ilex integra Leaf (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Ilex integra Leaf (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Ilex integra, commonly known as Mochi Tree, is native to Japan, Korea, Taiwan and south China. In its native habitat it grows in thickets and woods.

The etymological root of the binomial name Ilex is derived from the old Latin name for the Holly. Integra is derived from the Latin integrale meaning ‘complete’.

The landscape architect may find Ilex integra useful as a small evergreen tree suitable for planting in light shady locations. The tree may be planted as a hedge. The female plants produce attractive winter berries, it should be noted male specimens should be present for this to occur.

Ecologically, Ilex integra flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. The berries are attractive to some bird species.

Ilex integra Bark (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Ilex integra Bark (01/04/2015, Tokyo, Japan)

Ilex integra prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil. It dislikes wet soils.

Ilex integra requires little maintenance. This tree is very tolerant of hard pruning.

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