Holly Bushes

Difference Between American Holly and English Holly

critter01 added on October 8, 2015 | Answered

What is the difference between an American holly and an English holly? I am being told that the berries on the American holly are above the leaves and that on the English holly they are below the leaves. Is this correct?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 9, 2015

The differences can be subtle.

English Holly leaves are a deep green and glossy.

American Holly is a more yellow green color and are a dull finish.

If the leaves are variegated they are English.

English Holly leaves curl under a bit and American Hollies are flat with spines that stick straight out.

English Holly can grow 15 to 20 feet tall with a very dense growing form. American Holly can grow up to 60 feet and will have a more openly spaced canopy.

The berries are not really an indicator.

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