Ilex, Chinese Holly, Horned Holly 'Burfordii Nana'

Ilex cornuta

Family: Aquifoliaceae (a-kwee-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ilex (EYE-leks) (Info)
Species: cornuta (kor-NOO-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Burfordii Nana



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage



Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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:

Can be grown as an annual


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Gaylesville, Alabama

Vista, California(9 reports)

Wilmington, Delaware

Bartow, Florida

Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Clarkston, Georgia

Tifton, Georgia

Russell, Kentucky

Vacherie, Louisiana

Bay Springs, Mississippi

Waynesboro, Mississippi

South Greenfield, Missouri

Morehead City, North Carolina

Enid, Oklahoma

Charleston, South Carolina

Inman, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Antioch, Tennessee

Culleoka, Tennessee

Allen, Texas

Cedar Park, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Garland, Texas

Houston, Texas(2 reports)

Murchison, Texas

Richardson, Texas(2 reports)

Spring, Texas

The Colony, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Virginia Beach, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 1, 2016, sophie1950 from South Greenfield, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I also purchased mine at Lowes, about 5 years ago. It didn't grow at all for a couple of years, and now is growing. It hasn't produced berries until this year, when there was one small cluster low on the bush. It is in light shade all day. I would love the berries, but it is pretty without them. I'm hoping that in the next year or two it may start making berries. We purchased 6 other hollies at the same time, also from Lowes, and they have also grown only minimally (except the male form which was larger to start with), but this year put on a nice berry display for the first time. Lesson learned: No more bargain plants from big box stores.


On Apr 21, 2013, shewhoplants from Tifton, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I purchased 2 of these plants from Lowes 3yrs ago. Till this day I have not seen one berry. I then purchased 6, from Lowes, 2 years ago. Not seen any berries on these. They were full of berries when I purchased them. What is wrong. They are in part sun. Do Buford Hollies need a male plant to make berries. I have heard they do not. Does someone in this cyber world know and can help me?


On Jan 21, 2013, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Yes, it's a pretty, essentially unkillable shrub. It would probably survive a nuclear attack, in fact. But my comment is about the size of it. My next-door neighbor planted a fence of this plant around his backyard decades ago, and now each plant is around 8 feet high and wide, making an impenetrable mass. And it's only that small because he goes out there with a chainsaw several times a year to massacre them. (Yes, he specified to me that they are the dwarf form, not the regular Burford.) Without all his trimming, each tree would easily be 15 feet tall. The bases are very wide, about the width of a football.

You can see a photo of part of the exact hedge I'm talking about in the background of this photo I took of my Olea europaea 'Arbequina': ... read more


On Mar 2, 2012, Southernbell421 from Ocala, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a nice shrub. Just watch the leaves as they are pointed.
It takes a cutting real well and just general watering is fine with this shrub. It's leaves give a good color and in the winter it puts out alot of showy red berries (non eatable!).


On Jul 13, 2006, greenbud from Houston, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Excellent foundation shrub. Mine is limbed up like a tiny tree. Very compact foliage, very shiny leaves. Drought tolerant.


On Jan 9, 2006, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I will ditto everything mothernature said about this plant. So far it has been absolutely care-free for me. I really don't have to keep it pruned, but I have 1 on each side of my garage and one seems to be growing faster than the other. I top prune to get them to look even. Other than rainfall, it gets no supplemental watering at all. Our dry hot summers don't seem to faze it.
I will say that in the spring they are covered with sweet-smelling blooms and these attract tons of bees- of which I am allergic to.


On Dec 13, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This dwarf cultivar has slightly twisted, dark green leaves that look as though they have been polished. It is very compact compared to the species.

It is hardy, evergreen and produces many berries. One of my favorite landscape plants.