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Ilex crenata – Sky Pencil Holly
The narrow, columnar form of Japanese Holly is just right for small areas. The name Sky Pencil reflects it strict upright growth habit.
This evergreen shrub will grow to 8’ in height but stay less than 2” in width. With pruning a typical specimen will remain ‘4-6′ tall, but only 1’ wide.
Leaves are elliptic to obovate (wider past the middle), small (1/2” to 1” long), and have serrulate margins, particularly at the rounded tips. The foliage resembles that of boxwood, as opposed to holly.
Tiny, greenish-white flowers appear along the stems in the leaf axils in late spring, but are not considered all that showy. Small black berries may form in the fall from these flowers, but they are not all that note-worthy.
This cultivar is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. There are a few that have been growing in the Crawford estate area near Kelowna for many years so we feel they should re reliable in this climate.
This columnar holly makes a great vertical accent in narrow spaces. Designers will often flank a doorway with 2 of these plants. One could also plant them close together to forma very narrow hedge.
No serious insect or disease problems have been noticed.