Culture: Easily grown in acidic, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best fruit production occurs in full sun, but plants generally appreciate some part afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Foliage tends to open up as the amount of shade increases. Avoid poorly drained soils. Mulch will help retain soil moisture and deter weed growth. Prune in winter if needed. Hollies are dioecious (separate male and female plants). In order to set fruit, female plants need a nearby male pollinator. DRAGON LADY is a female cultivar. I. ‘Blue Stallion’ and I. ‘Blue Prince’ are reportedly good pollinators.
Noteworthy Characteristics: Ilex x aquipernyi is a cross between I. aquifolium (English holly) and I. pernyi (perny holly). ‘Meschick’, commonly sold under the trade name of DRAGON LADY, is a female cultivar that grows as an upright, symmetrical, very narrow pyramid, eventually maturing to 10 to 20 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide. Spiny, ovate-quadrangular, evergreen, dark green leaves are attractive year round. Scarlet fruits mature in fall and remain on the plant through winter. DRAGON LADY is sometimes listed as a meserve hybrid, but belongs under Ilex x aquipernyi. Zones 6 to 8.
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