Plant of the Day – Ilex ‘Whoa Nellie’

Bright foliage screams in the sun.

Bright foliage screams in the sun.

This introduction was named by Tony Avent after seeing it in Mike Dirr’s research plot at the University of GA.  I always imagine trying to wedge a word in edgewise in what must be a rapid-fire, slightly (yeah, right) opinionated barrage of plant knowledge between these 2 plantsmen.  At any rate, this screaming yellow-foliaged form of the popular ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ holly will definitely give a little kick to your garden.  In shade, the foliage will quickly lose the gold coloration so plant this out where it will receive maximum exposure.  In sun, the foliage will remain bright for about a year then turn green.  We’ve found it fairly vigorous in good soil.  Orange-red fruits add to the color riot if male pollinators are nearby.  Ilex ‘Whoa Nellie’ will ultimately reach about 30′ tall but will probably be showiest if sheared occasionally to stimulate plenty of new, gold growth.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Expect plants to make a pyramidal accent in the garden.

Expect plants to make a pyramidal accent in the garden.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum

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