| Ilex crenata|
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.
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').