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American Holly
Ilex opaca 'Mt. Vernon'

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: opaca (oh-PAK-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Mt. Vernon




20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring




Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

This plant is resistant to deer

Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Beaverdam, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 26, 2011, parklnursery from Beaverdam, VA wrote:

Ilex opaca 'Mt. Vernon' is often confused with Ilex opaca 'Lake City'. 'Mt. Vernon' was found in the early 1940's in woods near Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. The original tree was 18 feet tall and was propagated and distributed to several nurseries in eastern U.S. at that time. 'Mt. Vernon' was once grown by Beautiful Gardens in North Carolina from the 1970's to early 1990's, but the trees were destroyed for farmland after the owner died. I believe my two plants are true to name since they have "exceptionally long leaves" (4 inches long) a "dark green" color, and large globose red fruit (orange-red fruit). The fruit color becomes glossy deep orange in late October, then brilliant orange-red, and becomes dark orange in late January.The leaves are reported a lighter green when grown on th... read more