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Ilex pedunculosa Longstalk Holly

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


This broadleaf evergreen from China, Japan, and Korea is not well known in this country. Its moderately dense habit varies from narrow columnar to rounded and irregular. Branches will remain on the lower portion of the trunk forming a nice pyramidal silhouette on some specimens. Others may have to be pruned in order to maintain a uniform shape. Leaves have a smooth, undulating margin quite unlike many other hollies. The dense habit is due to the persistent leaves, which remain on the tree for 2 or 3 years. The small, bright fruits are pendent on long peduncles displaying nicely in the foliage. A male plant of the same species must be nearby in order to ensure fruit set. Wildlife appears to enjoy the fruit.

Full Form - Ilex pedunculosa: Longstalk Holly
Figure 1. Full Form - Ilex pedunculosa: Longstalk Holly
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Leaf and Flower - Ilex pedunculosa: Longstalk Holly
Figure 2. Leaf and Flower - Ilex pedunculosa: Longstalk Holly
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS


Fruit - Ilex pedunculosa: Longstalk Holly
Figure 3. Fruit - Ilex pedunculosa: Longstalk Holly
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Ilex pedunculosa

Pronunciation: EYE-lecks ped-unk-yoo-LOE-suh

Common name(s): longstalk holly

Family: Aquifoliaceae

Plant type: tree

USDA hardiness zones: 6 through 8 (Figure 4)

Planting month for zone 7: year round

Planting month for zone 8: year round

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: hedge; screen; sidewalk cutout (tree pit); recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in the highway; near a deck or patio; container or above-ground planter

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 4. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 10 to 15 feet

Spread: 10 to 15 feet

Plant habit: round

Plant density: dense

Growth rate: slow

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: undulate

Leaf shape: elliptic (oval); oblong

Leaf venation: brachidodrome

Leaf type and persistence: evergreen

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: white; pink

Flower characteristic: pleasant fragrance


Fruit shape: round

Fruit length: less than 0.5 inch

Fruit cover: fleshy

Fruit color: red

Fruit characteristic: persists on the plant; attracts birds

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not particularly showy; typically multi-trunked or clumping stems

Current year stem/twig color: brown; reddish

Current year stem/twig thickness: medium


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; well-drained; sand; loam; clay; slightly alkaline

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: not applicable


Roots: usually not a problem

Winter interest: plant has winter interest due to unusual form, nice persistent fruits, showy winter trunk, or winter flowers

Outstanding plant: plant has outstanding ornamental features and could be planted more

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Longstalk holly is not common in the trade and so has not been used extensively in the landscape. Although it can be thinned or clipped if planted too close to a walk or structure, it may be best used as a specimen in a large garden where its natural habit can be displayed.

Plants are best located in a sunny spot in soil that drains well. Longstalk holly can withstand exposure to wind, even in the winter. It appears to be one of the most cold-tolerant hollies.

Pests and Diseases

Although few problems are reported on this plant, it has not been widely grown or tested.

Publication #FPS-273

Release Date:October 30, 2023

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Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

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About this Publication

This document is FPS-273, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman