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Japanese Holly

Ilex max. kanehirae [eye-leks-max-can-ay-ha-ray]


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The Japanese Holly (Ilex max. kanehirae) is a great formal alternative to the Buxus, providing a very similar look to Box Hedging.

It is slow-growing, with glossy, wavy-toothed leaves that are 3cm long and nearly 2cm wide. Small white flowers grow in summer and are followed by black fruits.

Wildlife attraction

Plant Colours


Growing & Care

The Japanese Holly or max. kanehirae retains its fresh green leaves all year round. If it is looked after, max. kanehirae grows faster than the standard Buxus. The best location for max. kanehirae is a spot that receives both sunlight and shade. Ilex should be pruned at least twice a year.

Common Uses

Japanese Holly is extremely hardy and can be grown in both full sun and partial shade so is extremely popular as a hedge.

Maximum Height & Spread

Height 3m

Spread 2m

Did you Know?

The Japanese Holly (Ilex max. kanehirae) is resistant to Box blight and leaf scorch when pruned. Ilex max. kanehirae hedging is a tough alternative to Buxus making it suitable for northern or cold areas. The castle gardens surrounding Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, Netherlands have no fewer than 26 kilometres of max. kanehirae hedges!