Ilex glabra Strongbox®
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Ilex glabra Strongbox®

Ilex glabra Strongbox®

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SKU: S63377
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Quick Facts
Common Name: Inkberry
Hardiness Zone: 5-9S/W Exposure: Sun to Part Shade
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Mature Height: 24-36"
Spacing: 24-36" Read our Growing Guide
Ships as: ONE GALLON POT Deer Resistance: Yes
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Product Details

Product Details

Those of us who love Boxwood know it can take a beating in the winter and also be subject to blight and disease; Ilex glabra Strongbox® offers a superb and resilient alternative. This evergreen Inkberry Holly is as ornamental and densely formed as Box while offering the vigor of a North American native. A versatile shrub, it’s resistant to deer, and naturally forms a round mound with foliage that fills in beautifully all the way down to soil level. Plants respond well to haircuts so they can be pruned or shaped as desired. At a mature height of 3’, they are ideal for low hedges, mixed borders, container pots, and foundation plantings. A Proven Winners®/Color Choice® variety. 'Ilexfarrowtracey' PP 30,147

The genus Ilex includes some 350 species, best known for its spiny, evergreen forms with red berries. It's much harder to find selections of our deciduous, native species, I. verticillata. In the wild, it is often found in wet soil, but it also grows well in average soil and tolerates a fair measure of drought once established.

For more information on growing Holly, click Growing Guide.




The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.


We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. We also ship a wide range of containers and planters, tools, supplies, fertilizers, garden wear, garden decor items, as well as indoor decorations like wreaths and dried bouquets when available. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the green Shipping Details box for each item. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at the expected time of delivery.


We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.



Average Customer Rating: 3 out of 5 stars (1 Review) Write a Review

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The Jury is Still Out...

I wanted to plant something native as a foundation plant, and selected this holly. I planted six in the spring, in October...they're about the same size I received. I really expected more growth, even from a slow-growing plant. Maybe I'm just being impatient. They are nice plants, and I like the deep green color. Time will tell, because right now, my foundation is pretty bare.

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Growing guide

Growing guide
Print Grow Guide

Latin Name Pronunciation: eye'-lex 

This genus includes some 350 species and is best known for its spiny, evergreen forms with red berries. There are also deciduous selections. All are popular landscape plants whose berries often persist well into winter, and are especially striking against the snow.

Only the female plants produce berries. Give the females a prominent spot and tuck the male plant (which is necessary for pollination) in a less obvious one. A male plant can be up to 40′ from the female without reducing fruit set.

Blue Hollies

The so-called Blue Hollies (Ilex x meserveae) are hybrids between the English Holly, I. aquifolium, and a more cold-tolerant species from northern Japan (I. rugosa). They offer the glossy, spiny leaves of English Holly on plants that are hardier.

Grow Blue Hollies in full sun or light shade in average, well-drained soil. In cold-winter climates, plant in a spot protected from north winds. Prune in late winter or after bloom, but be aware that pruning reduces fruit production.

Winterberry Hollies

Winterberry Hollies (Ilex verticillata) are deciduous plants. Leaves are mid-green and quite unlike the prickly, shiny leaves of evergreen Hollies. In the fall, the leaves turn yellow, then drop to reveal dense clusters of bright red, berry-like fruits on the female plants.

Winterberry Holly grows in full sun, partial shade, and even quite dense shade (at some cost to flower and berry production). In the wild, it is found in wet soil, but it also grows well in average soil and tolerates a fair measure of drought once established. It does insist on acid soil. Prune in late winter or after bloom, but be aware that pruning reduces fruit production. Not a good choice in the desert Southwest.