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Possum Haw Holly, Possumhaw, Deciduous Holly
Ilex decidua 'Memphis Belle'

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: decidua (dee-SID-yoo-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Memphis Belle

Category:

Shrubs

Trees

Height:

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing:

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Deciduous

Smooth-Textured

Other details:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By grafting

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Terre Haute, Indiana

Georgetown, Kentucky

Gardeners' Notes:

0
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Feb 8, 2010, Gardennovice1a from London
United Kingdom wrote:

Hi there, do you have experience of cutting a Possumhaw right back, so that only 10inch branch stumps remain? Would a Possumhaw eventually sprout from these branch stumps, and would this happen in the first Spring after pruning?

Neutral

On Nov 24, 2008, ViburnumValley from Scott County, KY (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Memphis Belle' possumhaw holly is a clone selected in Tennessee. It seems to have somewhat of a pendulous habit, and it bears small deep red fruit.

I acquired this plant quite some time ago (circa 1992) at a Holly Society of America meeting. It is planted in a relatively dry location, it is from a southern provenance, it has had to weather some rather difficult climatic conditions (including about -28F in 1994) - so it hasn't particularly thrived to date.

It has put on fruit each year, though, with this year being its best show so far. I believe it deserves a listing here, and some photos to boot.

Possumhaw holly can be an exceptional plant. The jury is still out on 'Memphis Belle', at least here in central KY.