Ilex is a genus of over 400 species of evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers from tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. Many are grown for their attractive, evergreen foliage.
Genus name comes from the Latin name Quercus ilex for holm oak in reference to the foliage similarities (holm oak and many of the shrubs in the genus Ilex have evergreen leaves).
‘Nellie R. Stevens’ is a hybrid between I. aquifolium and I. cornuta. It typically grows as a large broadleaf evergreen shrub with dense, conical form to 15-25’ tall and 8-12’ wide. It also can be trained to grow as a small tree. Oblong, glossy, dark green leaves (to 4” long) have spiny margins (typically 2-3 spines per side). Small greenish-white flowers appear in spring (April), but are generally inconspicuous. Flowers give way to often abundant amounts of berry-like bright red fruits (to 1/3” diameter) which ripen in fall and persist into winter.