Ilex 'Centennial Girl'
Common Name: holly 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: Greenish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Birds
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Air Pollution


Easily grown in average, moist, slightly acidic, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Part afternoon shade is best in hot summer climates. Best sited in sheltered locations with protection from cold winter winds in the northern parts of its growing range.

'Centennial Girl' is a female clone that needs a male pollinator in order to set fruit (male blue hollies work well).

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).

'Centennial Girl' is a pyramidal, female, evergreen holly with matte green evergreen foliage and an abundant supply of bright red fruits that ripen in fall and persist throughout winter. It typically matures to 12-15' tall and to 5-8' wide. It is the result of a cross between Ilex centrochinensis and Ilex aquifolium. 'Centennial Girl' features spiny, ovate to oblong-elliptic leaves (to 2" long and 1" wide) with satiny surfaces, sinuate margins, acuminate apexes and cuneate bases. Nine to 14 spines per leaf. Greenish-white flowers (in small clusters) appear in May and are generally inconspicuous. Pollinated flowers give way to an often abundant crop of rounded berries (each to 1/3") which mature to bright red in fall and remain on the plant throughout winter. 'Centennial Girl' has better winter hardiness (USDA Zone 5) than parent Ilex aquifolium (USDA Zone 7). U.S. Plant Patent PP10,750 was issued on January 12, 1999.


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).


Borders, screens, hedges, foundations.