Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 54 Ilex x attenuata 'Savannah'

Common Names: Savannah holly Family: Aquifoliaceae (holly Family)


This beautiful evergreen holly is grown as a large shrub or small tree (to about 20') depending on how it is pruned. The Savannah holly is a hybrid cultivar famous for its large crop of bright red berries during the winter months. It has a rough pyramid shape and attractive light gray bark.


Savannah holly is a hybrid derived from American holly, Ilex opaca, which is native to the southeastern United States. In the USA's Deep South, it is one of our favorite landscape plants.


Light: Bright sun for dense, tight form. Can also be grown in medium shade where it assumes a less dense, more open shape. Moisture: Prefers moist, well drained soil but can handle rather wet situations and once established, is able to survive dry periods. Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 9. Propagation: Cuttings treated with rooting hormone.


This fast growing plant makes attractive hedges and screens in just a matter of a few years. Savannah holly is a good street tree and is often used in urban areas. Use as a specimen plant or as background for other shrubs, or to create small groves. Savannah holly also looks good in woodland plantings (give extra fertilizer if in shade and competing with other plants). Due to the heavy set of berries, the leaves may sometimes turn yellowish indicating a need for additional fertilizer (nitrogen).


Masses of bright red berries, attractive glossy leaves and a fast growth rate are the main features of this fine plant. The berries attract birds in late winter. In the south, Savannah holly is a favorite for making Christmas wreaths and other decorations.


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Ilex species profiled on Floridata:

Ilex 'Mary Nell'

( Mary Nell holly, Mary Nelle holly )

Ilex cassine

( Dahoon holly )

Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii'

( Burford's holly )

Ilex crenata

( Japanese holly,box-leaved holly,boxleaf holly )

Ilex decidua

( possumhaw, possum haw )

Ilex glabra

( gallberry, inkberry, bitter gallberry, evergreen winterberry, inkberry holly, Appalachian tea )

Ilex myrtifolia

( myrtleleaf holly, myrtle holly, myrtle dahoon, myrtleleaf dahoon )

Ilex opaca

( American holly )

Ilex verticillata

( common winterberry, black alder, coralberry, Michigan holly )

Ilex vomitoria

( yaupon, yaupon holly )

Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens'

( Nellie Stevens holly )

Ilex x attenuata 'Savannah'

( Savannah holly )

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