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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ilex x altacherensis 'Golden King' - Golden King Holly

The 'Golden King' is a variegated foliaged female, I know, funny name for a female, but perhaps even more funny is another cultivar 'Golden Queen' is a male. Go figure. One of many hybrid hollies breed and selected for in England. This cultivar is not commonly found around here. Evergreen tree with an upright habit to 25' or so and typically with a dense canopy.



Foliage is alternate, simple, ovate to oblong, four inches long or so, about 1" wide, dark green in the center and golden to whitish colored margins. Variegation variable, not just the color but the symmetry and amount of variegation. Margins mostly entire, occasionally 2 spines near the apex of the leaf.



Flowers dioecious, white, small, females have infertile stamens. Need a male around to provide pollen.



Fruit is red, 1/4" to 3/8" diameter in clusters of 3-7 or there about. Persistent through winter, still in place when blooming the following spring. See above.

Misidentification:
Other hollies, but this one has entire margins and the variegation pattern is in the middle of the leaf and not on the edges.

Location
Santa Cruz
At the Civic Center

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