Mademoiselle HollyIlex x meserveae 'Madez' (PP# 29,800)
View more from Holly Trees
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Ilex x meserveae 'Madez' (PP# 29,800)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Mademoiselle Holly is a striking pyramidal evergreen holly quickly reaching 6 feet tall and maturing around 15 feet, with a base less than two-thirds of the height, and branches to the ground. The glossy, dark-green foliage emerges in spring a striking chocolate-red, adding a unique look to this plant. The leaves have the classic spiny outline, and with the crop of bright-red berries the branches are excellent for wreaths and vases. Plant it as a lawn specimen; around your home or in your shrub beds; edging woodlands, or as a bold screen.
The Mademoiselle Hollyshould be planted in full sun in cooler zones and with some shade in warmer areas – it will even grow in full dappled shade beneath trees or on the north side of a building. Moist, well-drained, richer soils are preferred, but this vigorous bush grows well in ordinary garden conditions. Established plants tolerate some drought, and they are untroubled by serious pests, diseases or by deer. Plant a male blue holly, such as ‘Blue Prince’, as a pollinator for the biggest berry crop.
Holly bushes are definitely garden standards, ideal ways to bring clean, glossy evergreen foliage to any garden. The special depth and richness of their leaf color is like nothing else, making them super-desirable. Of course, they are also grown for their displays of brilliant red berries, vital components of winter beauty and especially of Christmas. Spring is another story, because apart from some scattered touches of orange-gray, the foliage is not particularly striking. That is, until the Mademoiselle Hollysteps into your garden. This holly is brilliant in spring, with the richest and most intensely colored new leaves of any holly bush. They are a warm, rich, chocolate red, making a vibrant addition to your garden scene. Of course, she is also shapely, forming a neat, conical pyramid, and if the right partner catches her eye, you can look forward to a bright winter display of big red berries. A unique and beautiful holly bush, this one is also cold resistant, and a great addition to any garden, especially in cooler zones.
The Mademoiselle Holly is an upright, conical evergreen shrub, naturally growing 2.5 to 3 times taller than its width. It has a good growth rate, reaching 5 feet tall and 18 to 24 inches wide within 5 years. 10 feet tall within as many years, 15 feet is a reasonable expectation for a mature plant, with a natural spread of about 8 feet. Of course, like all holly bushes, regular trimming can keep it considerably smaller, if that is what you need. The bold foliage is about 6½ inches long, and half that in width, oval to rectangular, with a series of bold spines along the hedges – the classic ‘holly leaf’ look. The surface is very glossy and lustrous, and a dark, rich green for most of the year. In spring the new growth is unique, emerging a bold, dark red with chocolate overtones. A bush with its new leaves could almost be mistaken for a flowering shrub.
The true flowers appear later, and can easily be overlooked. They are clusters of tiny yellow-green flowers at the junction of leaves and stems. If pollinated these develop into small green berries which by mid-fall will be about ¼ inch across, glossy and bright red, sparkling through the bus in clusters, and remaining beautiful through much of the winter before being eaten by hungry birds. For a good berry crop you need to have a male holly bush growing within 100 feet. We recommend the ‘Blue Prince’ Holly, but it is likely that male varieties of the English holly, and other male blue hollies, are also suitable.
With its neat pyramidal form coming naturally, the Mademoiselle Holly is perfect for specimens, on a lawn, around your home, or out in garden beds. With some trimming, it can easily be as neat and perfect as you wish. Plant singly or in clusters of 3 or 5, spacing them 5 to 10 feet apart, depending on the effect you want to achieve. With its upright shape, this is also a great holly for hedges, spacing plants 3 feet apart for a dense structure. The more you trim the thicker your hedge will become.
The breeding of the Mademoiselle Hollymeans it is very hardy in zone 5, handling low winter temperatures with ease. It also grows well in zones 8 and even zone 9, so it can be grown all across the country.
This versatile bush will grow well in full sun or partial shade, and in most soils that are not too wet or very dry. For the best growth rich, well-drained but moist soils are best, but this tough and adaptable plant will grow well in almost all gardens.
Generally free of pests or diseases, the vigorous is also not eaten by deer. It can be trimmed as needed, between late spring and early fall, but a lot of trimming tends to reduce the berry crop. A single trim of new growth in late spring will preserve most berries, which are carried on stems from the previous year.
The exact nature of the Mademoiselle Hollyis not known for certain, as it was found as a seedling growing among a range of blue hollies, hybrids created by the famous Kathleen Kellogg Meserve. These are mostly hybrids between English holly, Ilex aquifolium, and prostrate holly from Japan, Ilex rugosa, an extremely hardy but low-growing species. The resulting hybrids, of which there are many, are called blue holly, or Ilex x meserveae. This seedling, officially called ‘Madez’, was found in 2009 by Paul Hanslik, of Holly Ridge Nursery, Geneva, Ohio. Based on appearances the most likely seed parent is a hybrid holly called Meschick, and sold as Dragon Lady™. Although created by Mrs. Meserve, Dragon Lady is not a blue holly, as it crosses the English holly with Ilex pernyi, a cold-hardy species from Mongolia and south-western China. It’s correct name, and therefore the correct name for its seedling, is Ilex x aquipernyi. The pollen parent was probably a blue holly like Blue Prince. Paul Hanslik was granted a patent on Madez in 2018, and it is sold as Mademoiselle™.
This outstanding evergreen is sure to be right at home in your garden, and its breakthrough spring coloring is a real winner. Add it to your collection, or make this your ‘holly of choice’, especially if you live in a cooler zone. Order now, because new varieties like this are always in high demand.