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Foster's Holly

Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri'

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Foster's Holly (Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri') at Westwood Gardens

Foster's Holly

Foster's Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  30 feet

Spread:  15 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5b

Description:

This hybrid is a narrow, pyrimidal broadleaf evergreen tree-holly with spiny green foliage and an abundance of showy red berries in winter; unique in that it is self-pollinating so it doesn't require a male companion to produce fruit

Ornamental Features

Foster's Holly is primarily grown for its highly ornamental fruit. It features an abundance of magnificent red berries from mid fall to late winter. It has dark green foliage. The spiny pointy leaves remain dark green throughout the winter. The flowers are not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Foster's Holly is a dense evergreen tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Foster's Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Foster's Holly will grow to be about 30 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 15 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more. This is a self-pollinating variety, so it doesn't require a second plant nearby to set fruit.

This tree does best in full sun to partial shade. It requires an evenly moist well-drained soil for optimal growth, but will die in standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This particular variety is an interspecific hybrid.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Applications
Fruit  Plant Form  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features