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Ilex x attenuata
'Foster #2', Foster's Holly

If you are looking for an alternative to 'East Palatka' Holly, this may be it for the northern half of Florida. This holly is more dense and darker green than 'East Palatka' with a heavy, bright red fruit set. It grows quickly in full sun or partial shade on moist, acid soils. Growth is poor and foliage chlorotic on alkaline soil. With its dense, compact, upright growth and neat habit, Foster's Holly is ideal for use as a tightly clipped screen or hedge, or as a specimen, foundation, or container planting. Can also be planted in a small soil space or in a tall, narrow overhead space. There is no reason to believe that this holly will be more resistant to the devastating effects of Sphaeropsis fungus infections so destructive on East Palatka holly.

Plants on 5 to 10 foot centers make a nice screen even when left unpruned and allowed to grow to their natural height. Would probably make a suitable street tree but has not been extensively tried. This plant is considered mostly allergy free and causes little or no allergy problems in most people.

Multi-stemmed, topped, and trimmed trees grow a wider crown and are probably not as suited for narrow, limited-space downtown sites as their single-stemmed counterparts. The tree should be grown with a central trunk. Young trees which are topped in the nursery grow several upright, multiple trunks. These eventually droop to the horizontal and then become more weeping, creating an unkempt, asymmetrical mess. Training the tree into a single-trunked tree will increase its durability and resistance to storm-damage, although nurseries offer multi-trunked specimens. The tree grows well even in small tree pits carved out of downtown sidewalks.

Wood is considered diffuse porous meaning that there is little difference in size of pores between spring and summer wood.

Foster's Holly Photos

Foster Holly

Foster Holly

Foster Holly

Foster Holly

Additional Information

Foster's Holly (174KB pdf)