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Woody > Ilex > Ilex x meserveae > Ilex x meserveae 'Blue Princess'

Ilex x meserveae

'Blue Princess'

Blue Princess® Holly

Origin:  Mrs. F. Leighton Meserve of St. James, New York, United States of America produced a series of initial hybrids beginning ini 1964 which were introduced through the Conard-Pyle Nursery in New York state. Blue Prince was introduced in 1973 and results in a cross selected from I. rugosa x I. aquifolium.Breeders sought to increase cold hardiness with an emphasis on species from northern Japan.
            Mike's Opinion

this is Mike


This makes a beautiful winter accent with the many clusters of berries and the vibrant greenish blue leaves. It should be planted in a protected area to help reduce the incidence of winter burn. Add mulch to keep the roots cool and moist. Perfect for Christmas wreaths.

Michael Pascoe, NDP., ODH., CLT., MSc. (Plant Conservation)


x meserveae
'Blue Princess'
Shrub (evergreen)
USDA Hardiness Zone
Canadian Hardiness Zone
6a - 6b
RHS Hardiness Zone
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
3-5 m
3-5 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
This hybrid holly is a broad, upright, evergreen shrub. Features dark purplish stems and glossy, blue-green leaves which have spiny-toothed margins. Tiny, whitish flowers appear in spring and are relatively inconspicuous.
Use 1 male to 5 females to ensure good berry set. Used in the landscape for hedge, barrier or background plant. Has showy fruit and should used for winter interest, twigs may be cut and added to a Christmas wreath.
Easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in full sun to partial shade. Adaptable to both light and heavy soils, but prefers moist, acidic, organic soils with good drainage. Prone to winter burn so some protection maybe required. Mulch is beneficial.
Upright, evenly spreading vase form of a large shrub
ID Characteristic
Leathery deep green with a blueish tint, sharply pointed foliage with clumps of very attractive red berries (most berries) catch the eye of humans and birds alike in most garden settings.
Occasional problems with holly leaf miners, mealybugs, scale and mites. If leaves yellow while veins remain green (chlorosis), soil acidity probably needs adjustment. Protect in winter to prevent leaves from desiccation.
Horticultural origin.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth dark green to gray in appearance with purplish blue stems.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Cluster of 5-8 reddish purple buds .5-1.5 cm in size clustered at the base of various branches. Start as a reddish purple bud, turns white before it bursts into flower.
Leaf Description
Simple, alternately forming 4 - 8 spines along the leaf margin. The leaves have a very rigid but delicate form with a very dark bluish green broad leaf with a bright green underside.
Flower Description
Small imperfect creamy white flowers that appear in inconspicuous clusters on both sexes of holly. Female flowers are distinguished by having a little green bump, an immature ovary, in the center.
Fruit Description
Berries are only present on the female plant of this species, this cultivar has the most berries of the Hollies. The berries are 5 mm - 1.5 cm and round with a black dot opposite the stem.
Colour Description
Small pale creamy white flowers are inconspicuous, while the foliage is a delicious deep bluish-green shade. Berries are bright red clusters while the bark blends in with a green with a touch a grey colour.
Texture Description
Smooth glossy top. Prickly 4-8 spines on each with a slight bite to the touch.
Root stem cuttings in the summer, taking short cuttings of mature new growth, stripping or pruning off the lower leaves, and sticking into moist potting soil or well-drained garden soil kept in bright indirect light and high humidity. Keep cuttings moist for 4-6 weeks until well rooted, then transplant into individual containers. Rooting hormones increase the likelihood of rooting but are not necessary.