Ilex 'Jersey Male'

Common Name: dwarf holly 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Part afternoon shade is best in hot summer climates. Best sited in locations protected from cold winter winds. Avoid poorly drained soils. Hollies are dioecious (separate male and female plants).

‘Jersey Male’ is a male clone that will not fruit. It serves as a pollinator for certain female clones in the Jersey pygmy hybrid series. It may not be reliably winter hardy throughout USDA Zone 5 where it should be sited in a sheltered location and given winter protection.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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).

‘Jersey Male’ is a dwarf, mounding, evergreen holly that typically matures to only 12” tall. It is a dense, diminutive shrub that features small, spiny-toothed, elliptical, glossy deep green leaves (to 1.5” long). Greenish-white flowers appear in May and are generally inconspicuous. ‘Jersey Male’ was introduced by Elwin Orton of Rutgers University as part of his Jersey Pygmy hybrid series. ‘Jersey Male’ will pollinate similar sized female Jersey pygmy clones such as ‘Jersey Jewel’, ‘Jersey Midget’, and ‘Jersey Sprite’.


Potential insect problems include holly leaf miner, spider mites, whitefly and scale. Potential disease problems include leaf spot, leaf rot, tar spot and powdery mildew. Plants are also susceptible to leaf drop, leaf scorch and chlorosis (yellowing of leaves in high pH soils).


Dwarf holly for rock gardens, border fronts and foundations. A small plant for a small space. Also may be grown in containers. Bonsai plant.