Saturday, 15 August 2015

Blue Holly

Working through plant material collected over the last 12 months or so, for distribution to referees and Herbaria, I came across my collection of Blue Holly (Ilex x meserveae) from Fleakingley Bridge, Swillington (VC64) where there are at least 11 bushes amongst scrub on the embankment of a drainage ditch. These bushes are undoubtedly of planted origin but as they are in a rural location distant from habitation they merit recording.

Blue Holly covers a suite of cultivars arising from crosses between our native Holly (Ilex aquifolium) and Ilex rugosa. It is typically a small, dense bushy species that rarely attains a height any greater than 8 feet. This may be the first record for Britain and Ireland. My pressed material has been sent to the Herbarium at the Natural History Museum.

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