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Use this holly as a specimen shrub or in a mixed hedge with other bird-attracting plants. Enjoy it’s handsome profile best by planting against a light background or leave space around it to set it off to best advantage. If planted in a bed with lower shrubs, leave 3-4 ft  clear around the holly.

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Note from Joel

This is a great tree as a stand alone in an ornamental situation or it also performs as a hedge, especially if you want to punish an intruder.  The little thorns all along the edge of the leaf won’t stab but they will definitely irritate.  The dark green color is dynamic against a lighter colored backdrop.  This is a slow grower.  It’s not a shade tree as other Hollie species can be.  All in all, you will always love this tree.

Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

Common Names: Nellie Stevens holly Family: Aquifoliaceae (holly Family)


This evergreen holly with its handsome glossy leaves has been a popular landscaping item across the American South for decades. It is a large shrub that grows in a neat pyramidal shape 15-25 ft (4.6-6.1 m) in height. ‘Nellie Stevens’ is probably a hybrid between English holly (I. aquifolium) and Chinese holly (I. cornuta). Leaves are thick and have teeth typically associated with the holly leaf. Flowers of ‘Nellie Stevens’ can be pollinated by those of Chinese hollies in the area, which bloom at the same time in spring. This female holly is extremely fruitful and colorful when loaded with bright red berries in winter. It provides both food and nesting habitat for birds, including cedar waxwings, mockingbirds, robins, and woodpeckers.

Like other hollies, it prefers acidic soil but is quite adaptable. Keep soil moist for a few months after planting. Looks best with little or no pruning.
Light: Good sun is best but tolerates part shade.
Moisture: Average to dry. ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly is unusually drought resistant when established and tolerant of heat.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 – 9.

Bougainvillea can be grown to a larger size and pruned into a hedge. This hedge can be as tall, short, or wide as desired. Since bougainvillea blooms, as a colorful hedge, it can be a nice change from the standard viburnum hedges found on so many Florida properties.

Bougainvillea can also be grown simply as a vine. Growing bougainvillea as a vine unlocks the potential to do freestyle garden scaping. Supported and guided, bougainvillea vines can grow to form a grand archway over a garden path. Or they can weave over a pergola to create a luxurious outdoor seating area. They can also be trained to run up a wall and, given enough time, will spread out to completely cover the side of a building.