Ilex, Foster Holly, Foster's Holly 'Fosteri'

Ilex x attenuata

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: x attenuata (at-ten-yoo-AY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Fosteri
Additional cultivar information:(aka Fosterii)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

4.5 or below (very acidic)

4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic)

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


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

Montgomery, Alabama

Miramar Beach, Florida

Decatur, Georgia

Suwanee, Georgia

Indianapolis, Indiana

Wichita, Kansas

Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Symsonia, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Valley Lee, Maryland

Danvers, Massachusetts

Saint Louis, Missouri

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Owasso, Oklahoma

Summerville, South Carolina

Germantown, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas (2 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 24, 2013, rosepetal2 from Danvers, MA wrote:

Some hollies do better in cooler climates with a brief period of cold and the fosteri holly is one. I purchased three young plants from a grower in Calif (seedlings 16-18") early 2012 and tucked them away in an obscure part of my garden for the season. The 3 are now 24-28" and I plan to transplant at the end of a Leyland Cypress screen and cedar fence which will provide a buffer from winter elements. The grower indicated the plants were Fosteri #2 Z6-9 15-20 ft height and spread of 8-10 ft - which is consistent with Missouri Botanical Garden... "Foster #2 is a small to medium-sized, broadleaf evergreen tree with a dense, upright, pyramidal habit. It typically grows to a mature height of 20-30' tall with a spread of 10-15' unless pruned." "...Introduced into cultivation in the 1950s b... read more


On Nov 23, 2012, djbeckett from Dallas, TX wrote:

While on a trip to Tennessee in the mid '90s we saw these beautiful Foster hollies, and had to have one. They were at least 20' tall, covered with red berries and shaped like a Christmas tree. Not knowing anything about plants, we picked what looked like a healthy plant, brought back to Dallas Tx. and planted.

Years later, it's still alive. Never produced any berries, and today is only 6' tall. I've finally did some research and learned several things. Although not positive of our specific variety, I think it needs a opposite gender to pollinate for berries. I also planted directly from the pot, so no telling if it suffers from girdled roots. I think I've watered correctly. Soil samples sent to Texas A & M confim a 7.5 Ph level, so I tried to ammend with peat moss,... read more


On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

When healthy, this is a beautiful tree. But it is highly susceptible to white fly, scale and aphids, all of which can induce sooty mold.