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Densa Inkberry Holly

Ilex glabra 'Densa'

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Densa Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra 'Densa') at Rice's Nursery

Ilex glabra 'Densa'

Ilex glabra 'Densa'

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height: 8 feet

Spread: 10 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone: 5a


A medium-sized evergreen garden shrub with a consistent form, great for foundation plantings or dense privacy screening, also for topiary; small narrow shiny dark green leaves on an oval upright shrub, very dense and uniform in habit

Ornamental Features:

Densa Inkberry Holly has dark green foliage. The glossy narrow leaves remain dark green through the winter. Neither the flowers nor the fruit are ornamentally significant. The smooth gray bark is not particularly outstanding.

Landscape Attributes:

Densa Inkberry Holly is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Densa Inkberry Holly is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Topiary

Plant Characteristics:

Densa Inkberry Holly will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in moist to wet soil, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder zones.

This is a selection of a native North American species.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Massing Screening Garden Topiary
Plant Form Winter Value
Ornamental Features