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Common Name:

Nellie R. Stevens Holly

Scientific Name:


Family Name:



Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens' is a large dense shrub or small tree with an upright oval crown. This female clone is valued for its dark glossy green foliage and masses of bright red berries in autumn and winter. This clone is parthenocarpic, setting some fruit without a male pollenator.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Light green, inconspicuous.

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Bright red berry-like fruit are a primary fall / winter feature


15 ft to 25 ft


5 ft to 8 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

While Ilex cornuta is one of the parental species in this hybrid clone, Nellie R. Stevens Holly is not quite as heat or drought tolerant and tends to develop foliar chlorosis on neutral to high pH soils. On the up side it is cold hardy into USDA zone 6b with protection from drying winds.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.