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Ilex chinensis 'Cherry Ice'
Ilex chinensis 'Cherry Ice'
Ilex chinensis 'Cherry Ice'

Ilex chinensis 'Cherry Ice'

Regular price $25.00 Sale

Cherry Ice Chinese Holly. Upon seeing this selection at Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, NC, I was immediately struck by its beauty. I was walking with Tony Avent through the garden when he pointed this out to me. Here are his comments: "It is a selection of the late Dr. Gene Eisenbeis of the U.S. National Arboretum. After his death, the USNA staff couldn’t make sense of his notes, so they were bulldozing his collections, and this one was saved by the Holly Society of America members. It was propagated, and eventually passed along to us.  It is a Zone 6 hardy, self-fruiting form of a typical Zone 8 species.  We gave it the cultivar name of 'Cherry Ice'". The exciting thing about this selection is that it is self-fertile, not needing a male pollinator to set fruit. So if one wants a holly for Christmas decorations without spines, then this is the plant for you. It has also proven much more cold hardy than one would expect with this species, having survived at the U. S. National Arboretum in Washington, D. C. There are 50 ft. specimens of this species near here in Aiken, SC, at Rose Hill, the magnificent estate of the Phelps family. The Phelps were copper tycoons, but Mrs. Claudia Phelps, the matriarch of the family, was quite a plants lady, collecting plants from all over the world. Mr. Phelps served as the American ambassador to the Austria-Hungarian Empire. There are Ilex chinensis with 24" diameter trunks and 35' Loropetalums, as well as numerous clones of Ruscus.  Our selection of Rohdea japonica 'Claudia Phelps' came from here and we named it for her. The first two pictures here are the courtesy of Tony Avent, owner of Plant Delights Nursery. The last picture is courtesy of the JC Raulston Arboretum and shows the good berry retention even as the new spring growth emerges. We have a limited number of plants right now, but more coming along in the future.

Zones 6-9