Ilex aquifolium ‘Beanie Johnson’

Botanical Name: Ilex aquifolium ‘Beanie Johnson’

Common Name:
Male English Holly

Plant Hardiness: Zone 5

Flower: Small white flower

Bloom Time: May

Foliage: Lustrous dark green leaves have spiny margins

Fruit: None – male plant

Habit: Upright pyramid that should be sheared to help maintain its shape

Size: 30 feet to 40 feet if happy

Sun Exposure: Full to part sun

Native Habitat: Europe, northern Africa and western Asia

Other Features: Some winter protection should be provided in a cold zone 5



Description: Many years ago, when I first started the nursery, my brother was in college. He had a friend who lived in New Britain, Connecticut. The friend’s mother had thrown a Christmas wreath of English Holly on the ground by their front door and from it, I’m assuming from one of the seeds, sprang an English Holly, which grew to quite a large size. Unbelievably, this holly was hardy enough to survive the winters in New Britain. My brother brought me some cuttings from this plant, and I’ve had one of the original cuttings planted in front of our home for many years. It has survived all the tough winters we have had in the last thirty years or so with very little damage. So a couple of years ago we decided to start propagating it. It is a relatively small leaf English Holly but with typical spines and dark green color. It is sheared quite tightly and is a very nice plant. Unfortunately, being a male it does not have berries, but still I find it interesting that an Ilex aquifolium will survive here in Connecticut when just about all the other clones I have tried have perished in cold winters. We don’t grow very many of them; but if you are interested, it will be in our price list under the name Ilex aquifolium ‘Beanie Johnson’, for that was my brother’s friend’s name – at least it was when he was in college.