Are there different types of holly?

Are there different types of holly?

What types of holly are there?

It is certainly unknown to many people, but the mate bush (Latin: ilex paraguariensis) also belongs to the holly family. The dried leaves are cut into small pieces and drunk as mate tea. However, you should not make tea with the leaves of the European holly, these leaves are poisonous, as are the berries.

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Other types of holly are cultivated varieties of the European holly “Ilex aquifolium”. They often impress with beautiful foliage colors or are particularly frost-hardy, like the Ilex aquifolium "Alaska". The varieties “Golden van Tol” and “Aurea Marginata” have leaves with a yellow edge, whereas the “Argentea Marginata” variety has a white edge. The variety “Aureovriegata” also belongs to the brightly leafy holly.

The Japanese holly - a variety of its own

The Japanese holly, also known as Ilex crenata, is related to the European holly, but it is a very different plant. Its leaves are much smaller, so that it looks more like boxwood. The leaves also do not have the thorns characteristic of the European ilex. It is very suitable as a hedge plant, but you can also grow a bonsai from it.

Decorative variants of the European holly:

  • Ilex aquifolium “Alaska”: particularly hardy
  • Ilex aquifolium “Argentea Marginata”: leaves with a white margin
  • Ilex aqiufolium “Aurea Marginata”: leaves with yellow edges
  • Ilex aquifolium “Aureovariegata”: colorful foliage
  • Ilex aquifolium “Golden van Tol”: leaves with a conspicuous yellow margin


If you want to plant a hedge made of holly, then you can use different varieties. So your hedge is guaranteed not to be boring but colorful and colorful.