Image 41 of 1933
Highclere Holly Ilex x altaclarensis (Height to 20m) is a descendent of hybrid crosses between Holly and Madeira Holly Ilex perado (not hardy in our region). It is an evergreen tree with a dense columnar habit, spreading branches and a domed crown; the bark is purplish-grey and the twigs are greenish or purple-tinged. The alternate leaves are mostly flat, smaller than those of Holly and not as prickly; they may have up to 10 small forward-pointing spines on each side. The small white 5-petalled flowers are sometimes purple-tinged near the base and, like Holly, the males and females are on separate trees. The bright-red berries can be up to 12mm long. Highclere Holly, in its various cultivar forms, is a very popular park and garden tree because of its vigorous habit and resistance to disease and pollution.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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