Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy’

7 Jan

Ilex aquifolium 'Golden Milkboy' (07/12/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy’ (07/12/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 6m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy‘ is a slow growing, evergreen shrub with an irregular conical habit. Its dark green glossy leaves have cream colour to its centres, 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 Milkboy’ is commonly known as Golden Milkboy Holly.

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.

Ilex aquifolium 'Golden Milkboy' Leaf (07/12/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy’ Leaf (07/12/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy’ useful as a colourful formal hedge or a specimen shrub. 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 Milkboy’ flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. The canopy of this shrub forms an effective shelter for nesting birds.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Ilex aquifolium ‘Golden Milkboy’ 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.

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