Ilex crenata

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 Ilex crenata subsp. var.  Japanese Holly, Box-leaved Holly, inutsuge
Ilex Crenata2.jpg
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Lifespan: perennial
Features: evergreen
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Aquifoliaceae > Ilex crenata var. , Thunb.

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Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly or Box-leaved Holly; Japanese: イヌツゲ inutsuge) is a species of holly native to eastern China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Sakhalin.[1]

Japanese Holly is grown as an ornamental plant for its dense evergreen foliage. It is superficially similar in appearance to box (Buxus), and is often used in similar situations; it can readily be distinguished from box by its alternate, not opposite, leaf arrangement.

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to a height of 3-5 m (rarely 10 m) tall, with a trunk diameter up to 20 cm. The leaves are glossy dark green, small, 10-30 mm long and 10-17 mm broad, with a crenate margin, sometimes spiny. The flowers are dioecious, white, four-lobed. The fruit is a black drupe 5 mm diameter, containing four seeds. It grows well in acidic soil, between a pH of 3.7 and 6.0.[2][3][4]

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Ilex crenata, Thunb. (I. fortunei, Hort.). Much- branched shrub, rarely small tree to 20 ft.: lvs. oval, obovate or oblong-lanceolate, crenately serrate, glabrous, ½ - 1 ½ in. long: fls. 4-merous: fr. ¼ in. across, solitary, short-stalked. May, June; fr. in Oct. Japan. Gng. 6:165. F.E. 30:1161. G.M. 46:208. Gn. 64, E413. Gn.M. 4:237. Ilex crenata var. microphylla, Maxim, vs. 1/3 – ½ in. long, elliptic or elliptic-oblong. This variety is somewhat hardier than the type. Ilex crenata var. longifolia, Hort. Lvs. elliptic-oblong to lanceolate. Ilex crenata var. luteo-variegata, Regel (Ilex crenata var.aureo-variegata, Hort.). Lvs. spotted yellow, obovate. M.D.G. 1913:53.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases


Numerous cultivars have been selected, including plants with the leaves variegated (e.g. 'Golden Gem', 'Shiro-Fukurin'), dark green (e.g. 'Green Lustre'), or greyish-green (e.g. 'Bad Zwischenahn'); with yellow fruit (e.g. 'Ivory Hall'); and with the habit erect (e.g. 'Chesapeake'), spreading (e.g. 'Green Island', 'Hetzii'), or dwarf (e.g. 'Mariesii', 'Stokes').[4]



  1. Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ilex crenata
  2. Osaka hundred trees: Ilex crenata (in Japanese; google translation)
  3. Okayama Science University: Ilex crenata (in Japanese; google translation)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.

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