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Miss Helen American Holly

Ilex opaca 'Miss Helen'

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Miss Helen American Holly

Ilex opaca 'Miss Helen'

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Special Features
Zone Map
Attracts Butterflies
Bird Friendly
Ornamental Berries

Botanical Name

Ilex opaca 'Miss Helen'

Outdoor Growing zone


Mature Height


Mature Width


Sun needs

Full Sun, Partial Sun

Miss Helen American Holly is an excellent berry-bearing holly known for its heavy crop of big, bright red berries for the holiday season. This compact bush forms a pyramidal tree, reaching 6 to 8 feet tall and ultimately growing over 20 feet tall, as it develops a tree-like form if untrimmed. The leathery leaves are glossy, with a dark, olive-green coloring that really shows off the berries. It makes a showy lawn specimen, a dense hedge or a small tree in a woodland setting. It can be planted at the back of large shrub beds too, for a reliable backdrop to your garden.

  • Compact pyramidal evergreen tree
  • Abundant crop of big red berries
  • Unique olive-green foliage
  • Ideal for hedges or specimens
  • Reliable, and both cold and drought resistant

Either full sun or partial shade suits the Miss Helen American Holly. Grow it in any well-drained soil, preferably rich and moist, but once established this tree has good tolerance of drought. Pests and diseases rarely bother it, and deer generally ignore the spiny leaves. Trim young plants in late spring and late winter, and to preserve berries trim carefully in summer, once they are visible. A male tree, such as the Jersey Knight American Holly, should be planted nearby to guarantee a good berry crop.