Ilex crenata ‘Dark Green’ (Box Leafed Holly)

A slow growing, compact evergreen box look-alike from Eastern Asia. It can reach 4metres in height but responds really well to clipping so is perfect for Niwaki. Small white flowers in early summer followed by black berries. Happy in full sun to partial shade. Any aspect in any well drained soil. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Green

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One more box-alike evergreen from our arsenal of such things. We’ve got some other Ilex crenatas and very fine pouffly-emerald clouds though they are, this variety from East Asia is the darkest and deepest and most abyssal of the greens we’ve seen. Tall, dark and handsome.

Left alone as a dense shrub it can reach around 4 metres in height and spread but don’t do that. Other shrubs do that perfectly well and allowing this to do that would be a waste. It clips and trains so well that it would be criminal not to maximise those qualities and that’s why it makes a cracking Niwaki plant and that’s the only way we grow them. We are Architectural Plants, after all.

An ancient Japanese growing-and-pruning-and training technique (of which we’re fond, did we mention?) , really spectacular examples can be achieved with this particular plant. We only bring in a very limited few of the finest and most choice examples directly from Japan, and each of them are superb examples of the patience, expertise and dedication that goes into such an art form. We must admit that while it can be heart-breaking to part with them, every so often we have a word and remind each other that we’re running a business here and thus we offer them, very proudly, to you.

Contact us immediately to see if we have any, we always endeavour to have some, and let us enchant you with them.

Indeed, click here, since you are here, and read on…

Happy in full sun to partial shade. Any aspect in any well drained soil.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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It is an absolutely wonderful treasure trove for any plant lover and we will be back (frequently!) The plants are all in superb condition, with an enormous variety to choose from. The staff are very professional and knowledgable, but also friendly and helpful.