WSU Clark County Extension

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Meserve Hybrid Holly

Scientific name: Ilex meserveae

Type:Evergreen shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:8 ft
Width:8 ft
Bloom:Spring flowers
Bloom Time:April
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Meserve Holly is best known for its blue-green spiny leaves which resemble those of English Holly.

Meserve Holly is an evergreen shrub which grows 6’-8’ tall (or taller depending upon the cultivar) forming a rounded shrub. It bears lustrous, blue-green, alternatively arranged leaves which range in length from 1”-3”. Stems on all the different cultivars are purple.

Plants are dioecious, with male and female plants. Bloom is white, though the flowers are very small. Bright red fruit are borne on female plants. For berries to form the male plant needs to be within the same general location. Local songbirds feast on the berries during the winter months. The seed within the berry is poisonous if ingested by humans.

Commonly available cultivars include ‘Blue Boy’ which is sold as a male pollinator, and ‘Blue Girl’ which is sold as the counterpoint for ‘Blue Boy’ and for its production of red berries.

This species prefers full sun to partial shade, and a moist, well-drained soil. Meserve Holly is used as foundation plant or grouped together for hedges. The foliage can be sheared to create different hedge effects.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234