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Silver Hedgehog Holly

Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea'

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Silver Hedgehog Holly (Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea') at Roger's Gardens

Silver Hedgehog Holly foliage

Silver Hedgehog Holly foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Silver Hedgehog Holly (Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea') at Roger's Gardens

Silver Hedgehog Holly

Silver Hedgehog Holly

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  7a

Other Names:  Common Holly


Not your average plant, this character has variegated green foliage with copious sharp spines along the leaf edges and into the centers, hence the appropriate common name; colors best in full sun but adaptable; sterile

Ornamental Features

Silver Hedgehog Holly is primarily valued in the landscape or garden for its distinctively pyramidal habit of growth. It has attractive dark green foliage edged in creamy white. The spiny oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter.

Landscape Attributes

Silver Hedgehog Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with 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 shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, 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. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Insects
  • Disease

Silver Hedgehog Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Vertical Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Topiary

Planting & Growing

Silver Hedgehog Holly will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate 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 foliage in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Accent  Articulation  Massing  Screening  Topiary 
Foliage Color  Plant Form  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features