Ilex crenata
Ilex Crenata2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Unranked: Angiosperms
Unranked: Eudicots
Unranked: Asterids
Order: Aquifoliales
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Genus: Ilex
Species: I. crenata
Binomial name
Ilex crenata

Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly or Box-leaved Holly; Japanese: イヌツゲ inutsuge) is a species of holly native to eastern China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Sakhalin.[1]

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to a height of 3-5 m (rarely 10 m) tall, with a trunk diameter up to 20 cm. The leaves are glossy dark green, small, 10-30 mm long and 10-17 mm broad, with a crenate margin, sometimes spiny. The flowers are dioecious, white, four-lobed. The fruit is a black drupe 5 mm diameter, containing four seeds. It grows well in acidic soil, between a pH of 3.7 and 6.0.[2][3][4]


Compacta Holly is grown as an ornamental plant for its dense evergreen foliage. It is superficially similar in appearance to box (Buxus), and is often used in similar situations; it can readily be distinguished from box by its alternate, not opposite, leaf arrangement.

Numerous cultivars have been selected, including plants with the leaves variegated (e.g. 'Golden Gem', 'Shiro-Fukurin'), dark green (e.g. 'Green Lustre'), or greyish-green (e.g. 'Bad Zwischenahn'); with yellow fruit (e.g. 'Ivory Hall'); and with the habit erect (e.g. 'Chesapeake'), spreading (e.g. 'Green Island', 'Hetzii'), or dwarf (e.g. 'Mariesii', 'Stokes').[4]


  1. Germplasm Resources Information Network: Ilex crenata
  2. Osaka hundred trees: Ilex crenata (in Japanese; google translation)
  3. Okayama Science University: Ilex crenata (in Japanese; google translation)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.

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