|Species:||Ilex aquifolium L.|
|Italian common noun:||Agrifoglio comune|
Origin: Europe, Western Asia.
Botanical characteristics: It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub or tree with conical growth habit. Bark is smooth, at first green and then grey. Leaves are dark green, glossy and the shape ranges from elliptical to ovate. Margins are spiny, sometimes toothed or smooth. It is a dioecious plant with male and female flowers on separate plants. Spring-flowering consists of small white fragrant flowers. It is peculiar for its very decorative red berries in autumn, which persist all winter long on the female plants.
Agronomic and environmental characteristics: It can be found throughout the territory in woodlands, but nowadays the spontaneous growth is rare. It is cultivated as ornamental plant. It prefers fertile, moist but well-drained soils, in full sun or partial shade. It resists pollution and saltiness.
Use: It is used as ornamental and decorative plant for its red berries. In gardens it is used as single plant, in groups or in mixed hedges. It is widely used for hedges and barriers in industrial and coastal areas.
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