Position: Full sun
Flowering period: Late spring
Soil: Moist, well drained
Eventual Height: 8m
Eventual Spread: 4m
Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’ is a slow growing, evergreen, large shrub or small tree with a pyramidal habit. Its dark green glossy leaves have cream colour to its edges, are ovate with entire spiny margins, up to 6cm long and 4cm broad. As the tree matures the new leaves have a tendency to not have spines. Its bark is grey and smooth. Its white flowers are male only and will therefore not produce berries. It will pollinate female hollies which will produce berries.
The species Ilex aquifolium, commonly known as European Holly, English Holly or just Holly, is native to western and southern Europe (including the UK), northwest Africa and southwest Asia. Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’, commonly known as Golden Queen Holly and is synonymous with Ilex aquifolium ‘Aurea Regina’.
The etymological root of the binomial name Ilex is derived from the old Latin name for the Holly. Aquifolium is derived from the Latin acus ’needle’ and floium ’leaf’, in reference to the pointed leaves.
The landscape architect may find Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’ useful as a colourful formal hedge or a specimen shrub, particularly for shady locations. It will tolerate maritime conditions and atmospheric pollution. As it is a male Holly it is suitable for pollinating female Hollies.
Ecologically, Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. The canopy of this shrub forms an effective shelter for nesting birds.
The Royal Horticultural Society have given Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.
Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Queen’ requires little maintenance. If maintaining it as a hedge it should be cut in late autumn to early spring. If necessary it may also be cut in mid summer.