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Common Name:

Foster's Holly

Scientific Name:

Ilex x attenuata

Family Name:



Ilex x attenuata 'Fosteri' is a medium textured evergreen holly with a narrow conical crown. The dark glossy green foliage contrasts nicely with the medium size red berries. This hybrid holly is a result of a cross between Ilex opaca x Ilex cassine. With proper siting it can be used into USDA zone 6b.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub, tree, small tree


sun, partial sun

Flower Color:

Small green, inconspicuous

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Bright red fruit are a fall / winter asset


15 ft to 25 ft


5 ft to 8 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low 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:

6, 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:

Generally tough holly that can provide a narrower crown than some of the species. Best in a moist acidic soil, but the species can survive in neutral to slightly alkaline soils that were regularly droughty.
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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.